In order to make a medical negligence claim, you will be required to provide evidence supporting your case. This includes, among other things, your medical records. Most doctors, hospitals and other medical authorities now keep electronic patient records, or EPRs, rather than the ‘old style’ paper records. This has many advantages, but also a few disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of EPRs in medical negligence compensation claims.
Pros of EPRs when claiming for medical negligence
Using electronic record as evidence in claims for compensation offers comparatively quick and easy access to your records. Records tend to be of high quality and are also often far easier to read than hand-written, often barely legible entries. As access to and use of EPRs is carefully controlled and restricted to limited numbers of users, personnel making entries are easily identified, complete with encounter dates and times.
Records of administered treatments and drugs are clear and should be accurate. Correspondence and other related entries, like data concerning telephone encounters, reasons for visits, and so on, can all be viewed on-screen. All data can be handed over on discs, via e-mail or in printed form.
Cons of EPRs in clinical negligence claims
There are, however, also several disadvantages to electronic records. To begin with, much of the entered information is coded, and knowledge of such codes is required. While many codes can be deciphered using code guides, doctors and clinics also often add their own codes, which may ultimately turn out meaningless to independent viewers.
Software used to create electronic records also varies from one authority to the next, which again may cause issues when examining records. In addition, prescriptions may have been written by hand and were subsequently not entered into the system, meaning pharmacists’ records will also be required.
As electronic records often reveal only specifically requested data, collating all necessary data to support your claim for injury compensation may involve a great deal of time and effort. Potentially vital information may ultimately be missed in this process. Print-outs are often of less-than-desirable quality and may obscure important information. To make matters worse, it is also fairly easy for entries to be changed.
A practitioner failing to send patients for further tests following accidents at work, for instance, may later add entries stating that he / she did initiate such tests to cover his / her own back in case a claim against injury by medical negligence is put into action. In hand-written records, this kind of change or addition would be instantly recognisable, whereas detecting changes in electronic records can be extremely difficult.
Accident Advice Helpline
By making your claim through Accident Advice Helpline, you can be assured that your claim will be dealt with by professionals who have the necessary knowledge and skills to examine and understand electronic medical records, detect potential changes, and more.
Accident Advice Helpline, in fact, has a legal team able to deal with all types of personal injury claims, whether they involve medical negligence, work accidents, trips, falls, slips or road accidents.
Date Published: October 18, 2013
Author: David Brown