Electronic medical records (EMRs) have a lot of positives. They make it easier to spread patient information faster between staff members. They allow doctors to access records anywhere, on computers, phones, tablets and other devices. When set up to keep records on the cloud, there is almost no risk of losing them. They take up less space and resources than paper records.
However, there are some serious downsides, as well. For instance, if the system goes down and doctors cannot access the records they need, will they make mistakes? Could that lead to sub-standard care?
Another issue is that there isn’t as much oversight and some doctors may rush through the forms, leading to errors. It’s easier to miss things on a screen than when holding a physical piece of paper.
You also have to consider that not all doctors may adjust well to these new records and new types of technology. A person who just got out of medical school may do well, for instance, but what about the doctor who has been practicing for 40 years? They may be a great physician, but are mistakes made with technology going to lead to medication errors, surgical errors and much more?
Finally, you need to consider problems with distraction. When doctors are using computers, phones and other devices while meeting with patients, does that increase the odds of distraction? Could that distraction cause the doctor to miss something important that they would not have missed otherwise?
If a doctor makes a careless mistake, those injured by the mistake may be able to seek financial compensation.