We trust doctors to always have our best interests at heart. And for the most part, doctors choose to get into the field of medicine because they care about others and want to help. However, the reality is that doctors are incredibly busy. According to a recent survey, on average, doctors see more than 20 patients per day. Given this workload, doctors will sometimes cut corners when it comes to filling out patients’ medical records. The most common way of saving time involves copying and pasting information from the patient’s previous visits.
In theory, copying and pasting relevant information does not pose a problem. However, sloppy copy-and-paste jobs can put patients at serious risk down the road. At the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, our Kentucky medical negligence lawyer diligently pursues claims against negligent healthcare providers. Seth Gladstein is a respected Kentucky medical negligence attorney with extensive experience reviewing electronic health records, developing compelling claims, and maximizing compensation on behalf of his clients. With our help, you can effectively pursue a claim to recover the compensation you need and deserve following a preventable medical error.
Why Are Electronic Health Records Important?
When a doctor sees a patient, they keep track of what occurred during the visit. Historically, doctors used paper charts. However, these days, a patient’s chart is stored in an electronic health record (EHR). EHRs are great in that they allow doctors to more easily access and update patient information in real-time. An EHR may contain the following information about a patient:
- Medical history,
- Past diagnoses,
- Treatment plans,
- Immunization dates,
- Lab results, and
- Radiology images.
Doctors use the information in a patient’s EHR to determine their future course of treatment. For example, if you tell your doctor that you are allergic to a certain medication, the doctor will forever have access to that information. So if you develop a condition that may be treated with that medication, your doctor should know not to prescribe it and to give you an alternative prescription.
Drawbacks to EHRs
While EHRs allow doctors to save a lot of time, enabling them, in theory, to keep more accurate records, that isn’t always how things play out. Because doctors are so busy, they will often copy and paste certain information. Most often, this involves copying information from the patient’s previous visit and pasting it into the patient’s current visit’s note. In some instances, this is acceptable as long as the doctor edits the necessary portions of the entry. However, patient notes are often quite long. According to a recent study, the average patient note is about 1.5 pages long. Thus, a doctor can easily miss a piece of information when copying and pasting information. Another study showed that 82% of all patient notes reviewed had more than 20% of the text copied from a previous visit.
The biggest issue with copying and pasting EHR records is that a patient’s health condition can—and often does—change. What you were experiencing last year doesn’t necessarily reflect your current health. And if a physician copies information from a previous visit that isn’t relevant to your current state of health, it can throw off their recommendations.
How to Check for Sloppy Copy and Paste in Your Medical Charts
Determining whether a physician committed medical malpractice by copying and pasting information in a patient’s EHR can be challenging. However, an experienced medical error and malpractice lawyer will know how to review a patient’s records to determine if a doctor was sloppy in their copying and pasting. Typically, this requires going overall patient notes with a fine-tooth comb. For example, your attorney may compare the doctor’s EHR notes to the information you provide them, looking for any inconsistencies. If you were seeing multiple doctors at the same time, your attorney may also compare one physician’s notes to another.
Recovering Through a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury law focusing on holding negligent medical providers accountable for their harmful errors. Doctors owe patients a duty to provide them with an appropriate level of care. If a doctor’s negligence causes a patient’s injury, the patient can pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor, hospital, or practice group.
However, medical malpractice cases are exceptionally complex for a few reasons. First, these claims involve the intersection of law and medicine, which puts them beyond the common understanding and experience of most attorneys. Second, there are very strict rules in place governing these cases. For example, a patient must typically provide adequate notice that they intend to sue a healthcare provider and also obtain a “certificate of merit” from another healthcare professional. If you’ve experienced what you believe to be medical malpractice, don’t risk placing your case in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer.
Contact a Kentucky Medical Negligence Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
If you believe that your doctor’s negligence resulted in a misdiagnosis, surgical error, or other medical mistakes, contact the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm’s founding attorney, Seth Gladstein, spent over a decade defending healthcare providers in all types of medical malpractice cases. In this capacity, Seth learned how doctors and their insurance companies view and defend against these claims. Now he puts his knowledge and experience to use on behalf of patients, with a goal of maximizing compensation for their injuries. He understands the frustration and feelings of helplessness that come along with preventable medical injuries and does everything he can to make the process as easy on you as possible.
To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Kentucky medical negligence lawyer, give the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC a call. You can also reach Seth Gladstein through our online contact form. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for any of our services unless we can successfully recover compensation on your behalf.