The Benefits of Electronic Medical Records
Today, many of the records we once kept on paper are now filed digitally, either on hard drives or, as is becoming increasingly common, in “the cloud.” These documents include our banking and investment information, our resumes and portfolios of our work, and our communications with friends and loved ones. It is also becoming increasingly common for our medical records to be kept online. Although you might initially think this is a security risk to your medical record, it can actually benefit you greatly by providing you with evidence to support a medical malpractice claim, should the need for one arise.
When medical records are kept digitally, each record is known as an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). An EMR is simply a digital version of the paper record that shows all of the medical diagnoses and treatments the patient received from a particular healthcare provider.Benefits of Electronic Medical Records
An EMR can have many benefits. A few examples of the benefits of having an EMR include:
- EMRs allow physicians to record patient data over time, providing them with useful graphs that they can later use to determine effective treatment plans for the patient;
- An EMR can be used to monitor patients' visit schedules to determine which patients are due for a preventative care visit;
- Record other relevant patient data, such as each patient's blood work results, blood pressure readings, and vaccination schedule; and
- Streamline the patient care procedures in place at a practice by keeping all data in a central, easily-accessible location.
Data plays a significant role in many of the services we rely upon, such as education and ecommerce. The data that is collected tells organizations and companies about the people they serve, allowing them to better determine strategies to serve them. This practice is known as big data analytics, and it has been applied to nearly everything we do, such as farming, navigation, city planning, and hospital care.How Can I Access my Electronic Medical Record?
Some healthcare practices are moving to electronic medical records to better streamline how they operate. As a patient, you always have the right to see your medical record, whether the record is kept electronically or on paper. This is your right under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You may not be denied access to your record because you did not pay for the service you received.Other Ways to Protect Yourself from Misdiagnosis and Malpractice
We put a lot of trust into our doctors and the other healthcare professionals who take care of us. In fact, we trust them with our lives. But do not feel like you are powerless against any act of misdiagnosis or malpractice at the hands of a healthcare provider. As a patient, you have rights and one of these is the right to advocate for yourself in healthcare settings. If you are a parent or the guardian of an elderly or cognitively impaired adult, it is your job to be an advocate for your child or the individual for whom you have power of attorney.
As an advocate, get involved in your treatment. Ask your doctor questions about the conditions you face, how to keep them from becoming worse, and your treatment options. Educate yourself about your conditions and your treatment options through independent research and second opinions from other healthcare providers. Doctors often have a very limited amount of time with each patient and when they also have a limited amount of information about the patient, they can easily overlook issues or jump to incorrect conclusions. Share your full medical record with each specialist you visit and be prepared to talk about your past experience with your condition. Although this cannot completely prevent your chance of facing misdiagnosis or malpractice, it can significantly reduce your chance of being injured this way.Work with an Experienced San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury or a worsened condition because of a misdiagnosis or an act of medical negligence, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages through a California medical malpractice claim. To learn more about what filing and pursuing a medical malpractice claim entails, speak with an experienced San Jose medical malpractice lawyer. Our veteran legal team at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. can answer any questions you have and guide you toward the right legal strategy for your case during your initial consultation with our firm. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We proudly serve clients throughout the Bay Area, San Mateo County, Alameda County, San Benito County, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County.