In Kentucky and the surrounding areas, people who hear the term “medical malpractice” might think it is related to a diagnostic error, surgical mistake or another inaccurate determination by a medical professional that causes injury or death. There is no doubt these occur, but a recent report showed that problems with record-keeping advancements also cause medical mistakes.

Electronic health records (EHR) are increasingly used in hospitals. Data compiled to analyze its effectiveness showed worrisome results for patient safety. The study used simulations for medication orders in which patients suffered an injury or died. For 10 years, there was a moderate improvement in identifying medication mistakes that were linked to problems. The average test scores rose to 65.6% from 53.9%. When categorized for basic clinical decisions, that average for hospitals rose to more than 85% from slightly less than 70%. Advanced clinical decisions and their categories improved to above 46% from just shy of 30%.

Although medication safety was better, the statistical improvement was still relatively low. Safety standards were reached in fewer than 70% of the cases. This shows that flaws and gaps still exist that must be addressed. Researchers classified the safety improvement as modest, leading to concerns about how many patients are in jeopardy.

Regardless of the circumstances under which the medical error was made, those who have been harmed must understand their rights. People who have sustained injuries or lost loved ones because of medical malpractice will be confronted with medical costs, lost companionship and contributions, and other long-term challenges. An investigation into the case is key, and evidence will be needed to determine what happened and why. Consulting with a law firm experienced in these types of cases may help with pursuing compensation.