With physicians and dentists across the country transitioning to larger medical groups, most of us have experienced some sort of loss of information. Between all of the different practitioners that we see, at one point our contact or insurance information has been lost, or our paper records were never put into their system and have now mysteriously vanished. For most of us, it’s more of an annoyance that we have to enter our information again or explain our medical history to fill in what has been lost. But in medical malpractice cases, this loss of electronic information can prove to be essential for the prosecution or the defense.
Whenever any sort of medical visit or procedure takes place, there should be some sort of electronic record. From even the most basic records, you should be able to find the time and date of a visit, the procedure that was performed, the location it was performed, the technician that performed the procedure, the results of the procedure, and how those results were communicated to the patient.
Several physicians now have MyChart where information is electronically available to the patient. This internet based platform can show timestamps for phone calls made, results of procedures, medications prescribed and emails sent to patients. These electronic health care systems are supposed to protect patient data privacy and provide accurate timely information, along with several other advantages for health care providers.
However, just because this information should be in electronic medical systems, sometimes it’s not, which can be a platform for medical malpractice cases. Maybe the wrong information was put into a patient’s file, or perhaps it was information for a different patient altogether. There are other cases where key information is left out completely, or the wrong information is discovered months later and deleted. Computer forensics experts are sometimes able to see who put in the information, who deleted it, when it was deleted, and many other “small” bits of info that can turn out to be the backbone of medical malpractice cases.
Everyone has heard the story of someone going in for a procedure and it goes horribly wrong because of some sort of keystroke error in a file. Maybe it’s the wrong leg being amputated or the wrong blood type being entered into a chart. This study shows several examples of how electronic records were entered incorrectly and led to further complications or even death, and will most certainly be used as a basis for medical malpractice cases. We can help find those errors or inaccuracies, and then offer expert testimony to explain our findings.