Doctor's Sloppy Handwriting: Are Lives Still At Risk?

 

What Do The Statistics Indicate?

A shocking statistic from the National Academies of Science Institute from 2006 reported that 7,000 people are killed annually from doctor's sloppy handwriting.

The stats also showed that medication mistakes injured more than 1.5 million Americans annually. These statistics show the importance for electronically storing medical notes and records in order to avoid dangerous catastrophes.

Back in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) took effect in efforts to reform and improve healthcare nationwide.

Did this big shift in data creation improve the issue with doctor’s handwriting causing deaths?

WHAT ARE THE CORE ISSUES?

It turns out there are other issues that result from incorrect documentation not just resulting from unreadable handwriting:

  1. Failure to date, time, and sign a medical entry
  2. Lack of documenting omitted mediations and treatments
  3. Incomplete or missing documentation
  4. Adding entries later on
  5. Using subjective data
  6. Not questioning strange order entries
  7. Using wrong abbreviations
  8. Information entered on the wrong chart

Not only this, but the records themselves have been proven to cause errors that negatively affect patients.

IN CONCLUSION

It’s important to note that even though it’s been several years since the EMR Mandate took effect, not all health care facilities fully utilize these new technological systems. Not only that, but lack of proper interoperability between the various systems is still something that needs to be greatly improved. Hospitals are finding it hard to share patient records with other health care facilities that need them. This is important to ensure patient safety especially when new medications are needing to be administered or prescribed to a patient.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an injury or has suffered a loss as a result of a mistake made by a record entry, electronically or not, you may be able to receive compensation. Call our office any time to receive a free consultation. We want to give you the justice you deserve! (903) 526-1600.


Prescription Errors and the Relation to Medical Malpractice

Medication Errors and the Relation to Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice usually brings to mind errors made during an operation, but prescription errors can also be a result of medical malpractice. When a doctor decides on what medication to prescribe to their patient, it becomes a powerful tool for that person to overcome their illness or disease. One thing to keep in mind is that each person is different and they may have reactions to medications that are unpredictable to even the best doctor. East Texans need to be aware that if they suffer from an adverse side effect from a medication it is possible that you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice.
It's important in these situations to not jump to any conclusion prematurely. There are several things to keep in mind when you are considering the possibility that you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice. You will need to be able to prove some of the things listed below:
1. You were an official patient of the doctor who prescribed the medication
2. The doctor or pharmacist was acting negligently when serving you
3. Injuries were caused to you due to the negligent behavior
4. Damages resulted from the injuries that were caused
Medical Errors can occur if a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist prescribes the wrong dose or even the wrong drug to a patient. However, there are many other errors related to medication that can be caused by these mistakes.
1. The wrong medication was prescribed by the doctor
2. The pharmacist filled the prescription with the wrong medication or drug
3. The wrong dose for the medication was prescribed
4. The pharmacist filled the wrong dose amount of the medication or drug
5. The pharmacist provided the patient with the wrong instructions for the medication
6. The doctor or pharmacist gave medication to the wrong person to whom it was originally intended
7. The wrong drug or combination of drugs was administered to the patient
It can be a difficult process to prove that a professional was acting negligently when they prescribed your medication. This is because when a doctor is prescribing medication they usually focus on the patient's current issues and any relevant medical history, and are very careful. This is why it's important to call skilled lawyers who are experienced in dealing with these types of situations. At Martin Walker Law we know that this situation is capable of causing severe and permanent damage to a person. Don't hesitate to call us and get justice for yourself or your loved one. (903) 526-1600


Surgery Mistakes And What To Look Out For

Here at Martin Walker Law, we like to keep East Texans informed. Not just so that we can connect with the community, but to also help you become more aware of the risks involved in the medical industry. We know it's important that everyone is kept aware of the latest happenings of this busy and sometimes chaotic industry.
Perhaps one of the scariest medical malpractice situations to think about is having a surgeon mistakenly remove or operate on the wrong part of your body or even remove the wrong organ. Unfortunately for many people each year, this is a harsh reality. According to WebMD, this type of situation takes place more than 4,000 times each year. We feel that it would take only one for this to be considered too often. According to their research, each week surgeons leave a foreign object such as a sponge or towel inside the patient's body up to 39 times. They perform the wrong procedure entirely on patients up to 20 times. They even operate on the wrong body site up to 20 times each week. Malpractice settlements and judgments relating to these type of occurrences totaled to 9,744 paid malpractice judgments and claims over the 20 year period in the study. These claims totaled $1.3 billion dollars due to these 'never events'. The individuals who completed this study claim that the figures are most likely even higher than the reports because so many of these events end up never being reported.
If you or a loved one has had an object left in your body after surgery, had the wrong procedure performed, or had an operation on the wrong side of your body. We want you to know that you deserve to be compensated to the full amount for these mistakes. Call us now for a free case evaluation (903) 526-1600.


Electronic Health Records And The Risks

Electronic Health Records And The Risks

Electronic health records or EHR's can be very beneficial If doctors and nurses are able to save valuable time. Time can be saved by utilizing these new technological systems because it allows medical professionals to quickly enter information about new patients by creating a digital record that can be updated with each new encounter. These types of records are growing in popularity because of how convenient they can be compared to paper-based records. Not only that but these records are thought to be more secure and access to them can be carefully controlled. These are all great options for doctors and nurses who need all the extra time they can get to attend to their patients.
That being said, There are some risks to patients with these new technologies. Autofill, autocorrect and copy-and-paste features can potentially input incorrect data that can lead to inaccurate and sometimes redundant records. These records have the potential to enable doctors to prescribe wrong medications or procedures to patients. Further problems can easily arise when the hospital staff is overworked or when people using the systems are not properly trained. Not only are incorrect inputs something to worry about with these new systems but data breaches are also a threat. These systems are not immune to hackers and data breaches that can result from passwords being given out uncarefully.
The best way to combat this issue is to ensure that medical facilities are creating up to date policies regarding these systems. In the meantime, it is also important for Texans to know that there are teams in place to make sure you are compensated for any problems these technologies can create for your health. If you or someone you know is suffering from medical malpractice after an electronic health record error; don't hesitate to call us today. (903) 526-1600