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Electronic health records can pose problems

Ohio parents may be disturbed to hear that the medical records systems that have been introduced to hospitals and clinics across the country in order to improve efficiency and record-keeping may actually help to endanger their children’s lives. Medication errors are one of the most common types of physician errors, including an incorrect medication or an incorrect dosage. Because children often require adjusted dosages based on their size and age, mistakes with medication can have particularly serious effects when children are involved. However, some of the problems with electronic health records may make it more difficult to ensure that children receive correct care.

According to one study, EHRs are not required under federal regulations to include algorithms based on the differences in care provided to adults and children. Therefore, safety systems or warning alerts may not be prompted to highlight potential dosage problems or medication errors for pediatric patients. The report identified specific occasions in which EHRs contributed to improper treatment for pediatric patients.

In some cases, important safety notes may not be visible to nurses who have to administer the medicine but only shown to the pharmacists who dispense it. This can lead to children receiving unnecessary or even dangerous medications. In other cases, default settings in EHR software led to medication errors, when they automatically set a dosage time at odds with the doctor’s wishes. In still other cases, the system may be so cumbersome that treatment is delayed while clinicians struggle to work around software restrictions.

Parents expect that their children will get better when they go to the hospital for treatment, not that errors will lead to a worsened health condition. Parents of kids who have been harmed in this manner can consult with Columbus, Ohio, medical malpractice injury lawyers about their options to pursue compensation.