Few people in Washington may argue the fact that most medical errors are typically unintentional. Yet unintentional or not, their consequences are very real, and often leave those impacted by them having to deal with inordinate expenses for the rest of their lives.
Oftentimes something as simple as a clerical or technological error can affect a patient’s care. While seemingly inconsequential on its own, such a mistake can have a dramatic impact on a patient’s care plan. Given that patients make potentially life-altering decisions based on those plans, one might better understand the desire of a victim of medical malpractice to hold the care provider responsible for the error accountable.
Newly implemented EMR blamed for misleading patient
That is exactly what a Connecticut couple set out to do in filing a lawsuit against a local OB-GYN clinic. The Healthcare IT News states that the woman received care from the clinic for her first pregnancy (during which time she believed the clinic conducted testing for potential genetic disorders). Following the healthy birth of their first child, the couple returned to the clinic for her subsequent pregnancy, which resulted in the birth of a daughter with cystic fibrosis. A subsequent investigation revealed that an error in the clinic’s new electronic medical record indicated that genetic testing occurred when it actually had not. Had they known the mother to be a carrier of the cystic fibrosis gene, the couple claims they would not have pursued another pregnancy.
Accountability for technological errors
While clerical or administrative errors may have their roots in technological issues, a failure to identify them is a very human mistake (which is difficult to overlook when it comes to healthcare). Those looking to take legal action following such mistakes may do well to align themselves with an experienced legal professional during the process.