Maryland Hospital Negligence Lawyers: Reducing Medical Error

An earlier blog discussed a Harvard study showing reduction in malpractice claims against physicians who switched to digital record keeping.  A new plan from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT) aims to use health IT to improve patient care and continue to refine the safety of health IT itself.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its seminal work on the poor state of American health care, To Err Is Human.  The report noted as many as 100,000 people may die each year as a result of preventable medical error and laid the groundwork for measures to improve the safety of national health care.

In 2011, the IOM delivered another report, Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care suggesting appropriately used health IT contributes to safer health care environments.

To follow up on problems identified and measures suggested by IOM and other studies, the ONC released its Health Information Technology Patient Safety Action & Surveillance Plan for Public Comment in December 2012.  Among other issues addressed, the ONC defines areas where health IT can lead to substantial improvement in healthcare delivery, including:

  • Accurate access to patient information at the point of care reduces medication error
  • Immediate access to patient record speeds delivery of appropriate health care
  • Access to aggregate patient information assists in early identification of infectious trends

Health care is not perfect, but it should not be deadly.  Time will tell if health IT delivers on the promise of safer, improved patient care across the board.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to improper health care, contact a skilled Maryland hospital negligence lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. for legal assistance in getting the compensation you deserve.