Do electronic medical records raise malpractice risk?

It certainly doesn’t lower them, and in fact, may place the physician at more risk:

Finally, some physicians fear that EHRs may actually increase their malpractice exposure, says Gerald “Jud” DeLoss, a health care and malpractice defense attorney with Krahmer and Nielsen in Fairmont, MN. For example, he says, doctors have told him that when their EHRs have online connections with other providers’ EHRs, “faulty information that may have been inputted into the system by a physician or staff member outside their facility could result in some type of incorrect treatment or an allergic reaction that could injure the patient.”

Similarly, Waldren says that when doctors get EHRs, “there’s an expectation that they have access to data outside the four walls of their practice.” They worry that if they have access to results, say, from a lab test that another doctor ordered, they could be held liable if they don’t integrate those results into their own EHRs, he says. Basch says this liability could even extend to an online request for advice from a colleague, if it includes a patient’s name.

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