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Showing 7 posts in Electronic Medical Records.

Using Electronic Medical Records to Combat the U.S. Opioid Crisis

In 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. According to the most recent data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 40% of all U.S. opioid deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid, with more than 46 people dying every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. While stakeholders across the healthcare continuum are fighting the opioid crisis on many fronts, optimizing electronic medical records (EMR) technology has become a significant legislative and regulatory priority in this battle.  More ›

Court Holds Alteration of Medical Record does not Create Inference of Falsification

Watson v. West Suburban Medical Center, 2018 IL App (1st) 162707

We're going to begin exploration of this recent Illinois decision, by referencing one of our favorite movies: The Verdict (1982) starring Paul Newman. In the movie, Newman's character, lawyer Frank Galvin, wins a medical malpractice trial on behalf of Deborah Anne Kaye against St. Catherine Leboure Hospital. During the trial, Galvin elicits testimony from Nurse Kaitlin Costello Price that the patient had eaten just one hour before a surgery during which she aspirated, resulting in her paralyzation and permanent vegetative state. On cross-examination from defense counsel for the Hospital, Nurse Kaye produces a photocopy of the original medical record which proves she had noted the time at which the patient last ate, as well as that the record had been altered by an anesthesiologist, Dr. Robert Towler, to conceal that fact. While the able defense attorney convinces the trial judge to suppress evidence of the altered record—as well as to issue an admonishing instruction to the jury to disregard all Nurse Price's testimony—the jury renders a guilty verdict, and even asks if it can increase the amount awarded to Mrs. Kaye's family.

With the advent of electronic medical records and audit trails, the ability of healthcare providers to deliberately alter medical records with the intention of concealing harmful information—all without being noticed—is limited at best. But what happens when a known alteration of a medical record calls into question the validity of a material fact? Is evidence of the alteration admissible? Does such evidence create an inference of falsification? These issues were addressed in Watson v. West Suburban Medical Center, 2018 IL App (1st) 162707. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Five: On Standard of Care and Final Thoughts

In the final installment of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt discusses the need for healthcare institutions to develop a management strategy for patient care communications and its impact on standard of care. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Four: Reading Complexities

In part four of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt unpacks the difficulties associated with reading EMR in its native state and the additional complexities that accompany counsel's ability to access EMR, which is only produced in PDF form. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Three: All Systems Go

In part three of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt details the current diagnostic tools utilized by modern health care as well as some of the considerations healthcare institutions should evaluate when making decisions about software and licensing. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Two: On the Audit Trail

In part two of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt delves into audit trails, a type of metadata that creates a chronological record of access and changes to the data, and explains why an audit of metadata parameters could be a valuable risk management tool to healthcare institutions. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part One: Questions and More Questions

This may seem an odd way for an attorney to start a post, but while I know many of the questions, I do not have the answers. But the fact is that the intersection of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and e-discovery is in the very early stages. More ›

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