The electronic medical record was implemented to try and reduce the number of medical errors by providing continuity of care as well as a solution to the problem of deciphering illegible handwriting.
Over the past several years, most physician offices and hospitals have converted to utilizing this type of charting system.
However, in a study done at Johns Hopkins, the results of which were released May 3, 2016, medical errors were found to be the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.
The study analyzed medical death rate data over an eight-year period and found that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors.
This figure surpassed the 150,000 deaths caused by respiratory disease which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) found to be the third leading cause of death. This is due to the CDC’s failure to classify medical errors separately on the death certificate.
The Results Are In
According to the CDC, in 2013, 611,105 people died of heart disease, 584,881 died of cancer and 149,205 died of chronic respiratory disease making these three the top causes of death in the U.S. but this new study puts medical errors above respiratory disease.
The release also noted that “most errors represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns that lack accountability.”
When the above issues cause serious harm or death to a patient, they may turn into a client seeking damages for medical malpractice.
All These Records?
These are some of the most voluminous records that an attorney can expect to get. Especially if the client has spent extensive time in the hospital, undergone surgery, and/or been sent thereafter to a rehab facility. These records may be difficult for an untrained eye to sort through to figure out what is relevant to the cause of action. Damages are evident, but what was the causative factor? Who were the providers or other medical professionals responsible for the decline of the patient/client?
This is where someone with medical and legal knowledge could be a valuable asset to the attorney.
Is Help Available?
Have you ever wished you could just ask someone with medical knowledge and training a few questions? Have you ever wished you yourself had some medical training to make life a little easier? Have you ever wondered if you could save yourself some time sorting through all those records by having a trained eye do it for you? Someone who knows both the legal and medical aspect of can tell you exactly what happened, when it happened, how it happened, and even if you have a case at all before you spend countless hours and hundreds or even thousands of dollars only to find this out too late.
Our team is here to fill in those gaps for you and answer all of the above questions. Put an end to the constant struggle of trying to decipher medical records.
Make our team your team today…
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Tracy Liberatore JD, PA
 Johns Hopkins Medicine, http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us (last accessed July 25, 2017).
 Id. (John Hopkins Medicine)