More Physician Use of EHRs Could Increase Medical Malpractice Claims

Because they provide medical lab test results to EHRs, clinical labs and pathologists are often named in medical malpractice lawsuits

Some experts predict that the great expansion in the number of physicians using electronic health record (EHR) systems may trigger an increase in medical malpractice lawsuits. Were this were to happen, clinical laboratories and pathology group practices might find themselves also named in such lawsuits because they provided the medical laboratory test results that populated the patient’s EHR.

Concern about an increase in medical malpractice claims surfaced in response to the speed at which the federal government is pushing physicians to implement and use electronic health record (EHR) systems as required under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). For example, federal officials are directing hospitals to implement EHRs that fulfill the Act’s Meaningful Use (MU) requirements by 2012. (more…)