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Electronic medical records reduce frequency of doctor errors

Anytime medical advances are made, patients stand to benefit. However, a significant number of doctors have been apprehensive to adopt one of the more recent innovations in medical technology: electronic health records. Though this seems like a common sense solution to help North Carolina residents and their doctors, many have assumed that the implementation of the technology could increase the risk of medical malpractice claims.

However, a recent study released by researchers at Harvard Medical School showed that implementing electronic health records reduced the number of doctor errors. This technology can assist doctors in preventing unnecessary mistakes by providing them with expansive medical histories and warnings when necessary.

The latest electronic medical record technology provides doctor's with alerts and information that is critical for diagnosis and treatment. Hopefully this study will provide enough evidence can truly benefit from the technology. Implementing this technology will likely make patients feel safer, since it provide important warnings, including the health risks of mixing certain medications.

While this technology can prevent errors, which is an important development, it could also provide assistance to individuals after a medical mistake occurs. With these records, it will be easier to determine what information a doctor had when they made an erroneous medical decision and whether they acted negligently when doing so. In essence, this could be a useful resource when pursuing civil claims for medical malpractice.

Patients should be able to trust that their doctors are always acting in their best interests. This is why any development that can help protect the health and safety of patients should be taken into consideration by those providing critical medical care.

Source: Information Week, "EHRs May Reduce Medical Malpractice Claims," Nicole Lewis, July 2, 2012

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