Eric Turkewitz

Are Electronic Health Records Coming Soon?

Cross-posted from NY Personal Injury Attorney Blog

Often, medical malpractice occurs for the simplest of reasons: One health care practitioner did not effectively communicate a problem to another. And often, this is simply because of sloppy record keeping or illegible handwriting.

So it is worthy to note from this AP story last week, that the era of electronic medical records may well be here (keep reading)

Eric Turkewitz: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 12:32 PM, Dec 20, 2006 in
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Among the hospitals that call me in to prevent medication errors (by
giving handwriting classes to the doctors), a fairly high percentage
claim to have "computerized everything" 1 or 2 or 5 or more years ago
… yet they still have handwriting problems, because of a crucial 1% to 5% of handwritten documentation that just won't go away.

Doctors in "totally computerized" hospitals still scribble Post-Its to
slap onto the walls of the nurse's station, still scrawl notes on the
cuffs of their scrubs during impromptu elevator/corridor conferences
with colleagues … and, most of all, doctors with computer systems
often have the ward clerks operate the computers, use the Net, or
whatever: working, of course, from the doctors' illegible handwriting.
Bad doctor handwriting, incorrectly deciphered by ward clerks using the computer for any purpose, thereby enters the computerized medical record.

And what happens when disasters knock out a hospital's network? More than one hospital, during Hurricane Katrina, lost its generator, its electric power — and therefore its computer system — for the duration.

Even the computer-savviest staffers in the disaster zone had to use pens. Let's hope they wrote legibly.

Kate Gladstone - Handwriting Repair -

Posted by: Kate Gladstone | January 16, 2007 7:39 PM