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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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Waukegan Medical Malpractice Attorney

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are a modern way for health care providers to maintain patients’ medical records. Unlike physical paperwork that can be lost or damaged when being transferred from one provider to another, an EMR can easily be shared among various providers, allowing them to easily access and update the patient’s record as he or she receives treatment. Ideally, EMRs will cut down on the number of medical malpractice instances that occur because as they become more widely used, they will make it easier for physicians to review relevant patient information and track health patterns in individual patients. Although they have many benefits, they are only a tool to aid healthcare providers. Medical errors can happen at any time and when they cause injuries, patients have the right to seek compensation for their damages through medical malpractice claims.

How are Electronic Medical Records Better than Traditional Record Keeping?

An electronic medical record is a digital version of a patient’s paper medical chart. A few of the benefits that an EMR has over a traditional paper medical record include:

  • The ability to track a patient’s health over time. With the constantly-updated record, a physician can see which treatments worked well for the patient in the past, which were ineffective, and whether there are any relevant outside factors, such as the patient’s current weight or prescriptions, to consider when making a diagnosis or creating a treatment plan;
  • EMRs make it easier to determine when a patient is due for preventative treatment or a health screening; and
  • By providing an up-to-date document to all health care providers, an EMR can help the patient receive better health care and ultimately, cut down on medical errors caused by poor communication or a lack of data about the patient.

An electronic medical record is always legible. It can also be a critical piece of evidence in a medical malpractice claim. In fact, there have been cases of physicians being found negligent and thus liable for patient’s damages simply for disregarding or misusing EMRs.

Electronic medical records are not the same thing as an electronic health record. An electronic health record goes beyond the information contained within an electronic medical record to provide health care providers with a comprehensive history of a patient’s health.

Have All the Information you Need Before Malpractice Occurs

The best way to reduce your chance of suffering an injury as the result of a medical error is to be educated about your condition, your treatment options, and their potential complications. By enabling yourself to have serious conversations with your doctor about your treatment, you can advocate for yourself by raising important questions and discussing alternate treatment plans.

You can also discuss your previous treatments with your doctor to help him or her determine the most effective way to treat you. Every patient is unique, and factors like your gender, your age, and your previous health issues can play important roles in determining the right course of action for you. Discuss any concerns you have about your condition and your progress with your doctor and take note of every interaction you have with him or her. Consider bringing a close friend or loved one to your doctor appointments to make sure that all relevant information from your conversation with the doctor is recorded.

If you do suffer from an injury or a worsened condition because of an error on the part of your health care provider, work with your lawyer to obtain all the information you need to support a medical malpractice claim. In addition to your medical record, relevant information to support your claim can include photographs of the injury, testimonies from your loved ones, testimonies from expert witnesses such as other physicians, and even records of previous malpractice claims against the provider.

Work with an Experienced Waukegan Medical Malpractice Attorney

Having an electronic medical record can cut down on your chance of suffering from an act of medical malpractice, but it cannot completely eliminate it. If you suffer an injury or a worsened medical condition because of a health care provider’s negligence, consider working with an experienced Waukegan medical malpractice attorney to file and pursue compensation for your damages through a medical malpractice claim. Contact our team at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today to set up your initial legal consultation with a member of our firm.

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