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Electronic health record system still incomplete

Most Ohio hospitals and health care providers have switched over from old-fashioned charts to electronic health records when tracking the care that is being given to a patient. Although EHRs are versatile and easier to interpret and use in many cases, gaps in the system have been discovered.

An Oxford University study found that nearly 90 percent of acute psychiatric services were missed. Outpatient treatment for depression or bipolar disorder would fail to appear in the EHR in the majority of cases as well.

This may contain dangers for the patient, as it is possible that changes in their medication would go unnoted in the record and conflicting therapies might be carried out. In the study, the Oxford researchers compared information from EHRs with insurance claim data. The researchers emphasized that EHRs should not be relied upon exclusively and that information about the patient's medical record should be sought from multiple sources.

An incomplete electronic health record could lead to many problems, some of which could cause great harm to a patient. As an example, a failure to note an allergy could lead to a medication error. In other cases, a misdiagnosis of a condition for which a previous diagnosis was made but not entered could lead to a worsened medical condition. The results could be the need for additional and expensive medical care and treatment. A patient who has been harmed in this manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to learn about the options for seeking compensation that may be available.

Source: Science World Report, "Electronic Health Record (EHR) Found to Have Glitches in Recording Patients Data, Study Reveals", Johnson Denise, April 26, 2016

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