Errors in Medical Records Leading to Medical Malpractice
Doctors and hospitals are required to keep detailed medical records for their patients. Medical records are important because they contain detailed medical histories, lists of medications the patients regularly take, and any allergies the patients might have. Even small errors or omissions in a patient’s medical record could result in serious injury or death. In general, a patient or a patient’s surviving family member might have a valid medical malpractice claim when the patient’s injury or death was caused by errors or omissions in his or her medical record that caused the harm that he or she suffered. At Raynes & Lawn, our legal team represents the victims of medical malpractice to help them hold medical providers accountable when their negligence has resulted in serious injuries and harm.
The Danger of Errors in Medical Records
Errors in medical records are common types of mistakes. While they are common, they can also result in serious harm. In one recent study, researchers reviewed 22,889 patients’ medical records with the patients and found that more than 21% reported errors. Out of those who found errors in their medical records, 42.3% of the patients reported that the errors they found were serious.
Some of the types of serious errors that could adversely impact patients include the following:
- Insufficient or incorrect information about allergies
- Omissions of allergy information
- Failures to list all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements
- Other omissions from medical records
- Inclusion of incorrect diagnostic information
- Transcription errors
These types of errors in medical records can result in complications, adverse drug interactions, serious allergic reactions, or the provision of the wrong types of treatment. Any of these types of problems can cause the patient to suffer serious injuries or to potentially die.
Errors in a patient’s medical record can cause serious harm. It is critical for these types of mistakes to be caught and corrected before they can cause potential harm.
Errors About Medication
Errors about medication in a patient’s medical records can be particularly dangerous. Many prescription and non-prescription drugs can have dangerous interactions with other medications. If a patient’s list of medications fails to include everything that he or she is prescribed or is taking, including any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements, the patient could be seriously injured if he or she is prescribed a drug that interacts with anything that he or she is taking but was omitted from the medical record. This makes it important for patients to bring complete lists of their current medications, including any non-prescription medications, with them to their doctors’ office or the hospital. They should carefully review this list with their nurses and doctors to ensure that their records contain a full list of what they are taking.
Another common type of error in medical records is the failure to include adequate information about a patient’s allergies. Patients who are administered drugs to which they are allergic might suffer anaphylaxis and potentially die. Like reviewing the list of medications, patients should also make sure that their doctors and the medical staff are informed about any allergies they know that they have as well as any substances to which they have had allergic reactions in the past.
When Medical Record Errors Might Result in Medical Malpractice
Errors in a patient’s medical records might rise to the level of malpractice when the medical provider or providers negligently failed to enter important information or to review the medical record before providing care, causing harm to the patient. Maintaining the accuracy of medical records is critical, and medical facilities and hospitals might be ultimately responsible for any mistakes their medical staff members have made in the victims’ medical records.
Medical providers might also be liable in a medical malpractice claim based on medical records when they failed to adequately review the patient’s record or engaged in careless behavior that resulted in placing inaccurate information in the patient’s medical record.
Medical errors in a patient’s records can cause misdiagnoses, wrong dosages of medications, administration of drugs that have dangerous interactions or cause severe allergic reactions, and other problems. Medical malpractice cases involving errors in medical records might also include causes of action for other types of medical negligence in the treatment received by the patient.
Consult a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorney
Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other providers are required to ensure the accuracy of their patient’s medical records. If you have suffered serious injuries because of a mistake in your medical records or the failure of your doctor to adequately review your medical history, you might have a viable medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice cases are frequently complex and will require the help of medical experts. The attorneys at Raynes & Lawn have years of experience and work closely with experts to help prove the liability of negligent medical professionals so that they can recover full compensation for their clients. To learn more about your rights and potential case, call us today for a free case evaluation at 1-800-535-1797.
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