New Study Shows Electronic Medical Records May be Linked to Fewer Malpractice Claims

A new Harvard study reveals that malpractice claims dipped significantly after a group of Massachusetts physicians started using electronic medical records, according to an report. In the study, researchers tracked malpractice cases for 275 physicians who were surveyed in 2005 and 2007, of which 33 were targeted by malpractice claims. Forty-nine of these medical malpractice claims took place before the physicians began using electronic health records, and only two occurred after. The researchers estimate that medical malpractice claims were 84 percent less likely after electronic medical records were adopted. The news report does note that it is not clear, however, if the change in record-keeping was connected to the decline in claims. The study says factors other than electronic health records may account for the difference in claims; i.e. the significant changes made in the state’s healthcare system in 2006. Researchers also pointed out that the study was limited to doctors in MA who were affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Regardless, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School states that the study makes sense and may alleviate some concerns that the use of electronic health records may lead to an increase in medical malpractice. Electronic medical[…..]