Electronic evidence can be the only concrete evidence in medical malpractice cases. Unlike criminal cases where there can be fingerprints, DNA, surveillance, etc., medical malpractice matters often come down to just one or two pieces of electronic evidence. Most medical conversations happen behind closed doors. These records are typically entered into an electronic system such as MyChart by Epic, Praxis or NextGen, to name a few, for a practice or hospital. How can electronic evidence impact your medical malpractice cases? Let’s examine a case that we are currently working on.
A female patient went to see her general practitioner for stomach pains. The doctor referred her to the hospital for bloodwork. She went to the hospital and had the bloodwork done, as advised. When the hospital had the results ready, they were made available to the general practitioner to review via a secure web interface. However, the doctor never got back to the patient with the results, and the woman passed away. In fact, the results weren’t even viewed by the doctor until four weeks after they were available.
When building this medical malpractice case, some questions that the legal team might address are:
- What prompted the doctor to finally view these results, and why weren’t they viewed before?
- Did the hospital notify the doctor that the results were ready to view?
- How was the doctor notified that the results were available?
- If the notification came through email, was it caught in spam?
- Did the doctor hear that the patient passed away which caused him to go search in the portal?
- Had the doctor communicated with the patient at all?
At 4Discovery, we were tasked with supplying just two key pieces of evidence once we were onsite at the doctor’s office.
- Determine when the blood work results were uploaded and available on the portal.
- Pinpoint when the doctor viewed the results in the patient portal.
All of these findings can be used by the legal team to build their case. Keep this in mind when building your medical malpractice cases. We can provide just a couple pieces of concrete evidence in an industry that is largely rooted in “opinion.”