Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Can Electronic Medical Records Defend, Prevent Malpractice Claims?

Do you think an electronic medical record system can help protect your physician practice from malpractice cases? According to a survey by the Medical Records Institute and Professional Risk Associates, nearly half of physicians (45% of respondents) think an EMR or EHR can make a physician practice less vulnerable to malpractice claims.

The survey of 115 physician practices of various specialties also found that:

* Some 20% of respondents said their malpractice insurer offers a discount for having an EHR or EMR system; and

* Nearly 20% of respondents said they have had a malpractice case in which documentation was based on information from their Electronic Health Records systems, while 55% of those respondents said the technology was helpful in the case.

Two-thirds of respondents with an EHR system said providers at their practices fully use the systems. Meanwhile, about a quarter of respondents said their electronic medical records systems do not have all the functions necessary, and a similar percentage said they have not been adequately trained on the systems.

The survey was conducted between March 21 and June 30 through links on both organizations' Web sites and e-mails to clients. This story was originally posted on ihealthbeat.org.

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