When the term medical malpractice is read or heard, the immediate image that may come to mind is of a doctor or nurse harming a patient. We almost always think of medical malpractice in terms of a patient’s health made worse because a doctor was careless and made a mistake that could have been avoided. However, medical malpractice is not necessarily as narrow as dealing strictly with your health, and the violations that can be considered to be medical malpractice are broader than many people think.
Medical malpractice can occur, for example, when a medical professional fails to protect private patient information or makes a mistake in record keeping concerning a patient’s records. Medical professionals go through extensive training and education which is not exclusive to learning about diagnosis and treatment, but covers all aspects of health care including administration.
Some doctors and nurses may gloss over the mundane aspects of ensuring that accurate medical records are kept, and because of this oversight, not properly train their staff. This can lead to mistakes related to record keeping.
What may seem like a small clerical error, when it concerns health care, can have devastating and permanent consequences for a patient.
As doctors’ offices and hospitals incorporate more technologically-enhanced filing systems, and use computer software as their preferred method of record keeping, the need for doctors and nurses to become proficient in their system of choice is imperative in order to make sure that their patients are well taken care of.
It is important for patients to take steps to protect the accuracy of their medical records by keeping their own copies and double-checking what their physician or nurse has written down. Patients should never feel afraid to ask their health care professionals questions and to point out where a mistake has been made.
If you feel that you or a loved one may be the victim of medical record mismanagement by your health care provider, you may have a strong case for medical malpractice. Please contact our office to learn how we may be able to help you.