EHR transition initially may raise lawsuit risk

August 10, 2011

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine says that new information systems tend initially to increase malpractice risks for physician practices, largely because of unfamiliarity with the system and computer-related errors.

Electronic health records can bring many benefits to your practice, but they may also increase your risk of being sued for malpractice, at least at first.

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine says that new information systems tend initially to increase malpractice risks for physician practices, largely because of unfamiliarity with the system and computer-related errors.

The article says that the existence of metadata, such as the audit trail or email tracking systems, can provide more documentation in malpractice cases, which can be good or bad for the defense. Metadata are discoverable in civil trials under federal law and must be made available to plaintiffs' lawyers. State laws vary on whether metadata are discoverable or usable in trials, but the trend for most state laws has been to move closer to the federal standards.