In this day and age of advanced technology, people can receive healthcare at the touch of a button. In addition to having prescriptions electronically transferred to the pharmacy, patients can see a doctor through their laptop without even receiving a physical checkup. Although all of these electronic services may be convenient for patients, it comes at a price. While healthcare technology was designed to reduce medical errors and minimize mistakes, they come with their own issues.
Glitches and malfunctions of the electronic healthcare software programs can lead to medical errors that can lead to injuries and even death in some patients. In some cases, patient notes were appearing under the wrong patients, drug orders were not getting transmitted to the pharmacy, lab screening orders were not properly sent to the lab and were tests were conducted, the results were recorded under the wrong patients. Furthermore, medication start and stop dates were not being recorded properly.
In one incident a woman died of a brain aneurysm after the software failed to transmit a lab order for a brain scan that her doctor ordered. Problems with electronic healthcare records can lead to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose patients. It may result in patient’s getting the wrong medication, treatment or undergo unnecessary procedures while the real underlying problem goes unnoticed.
Patients and physicians can help to minimize these types of errors. Patients should always seek a second opinion if they are unsure as to whether they have gotten the right diagnosis and physicians should be cautious when using electronic healthcare record software.