Going to the emergency room can be an overwhelming experience. For some patients in Montana, it can be a very chaotic experience, making the patient feel uneasy and unsure. And while the medical professionals in the emergency department are trained to help patients, the design and flow of the department could also generate medical mistakes that could injure patients.

Electronic health records were designed to help keep patient files up to date and quickly communicate information from one medical professional to another. Without current and accurate information, a patient cannot have a proper diagnosis, treatment or prognosis. Electronic health records provide fast access to accurate information, which can be critical in the emergency room.

Because electronic health records are mandated under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals don’t have much of a choice in whether or not to use them. One of the drawbacks to electronic medical records is that medical professionals often spend more time documenting information than engaging with the patient.

Based on a recent study, the rapid task switching caused by the electronic health system has generated stress and frustration. Such a situation can have serious patient safety implications and lead to emergency room errors.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or a worsened condition because of an emergency room error, it is important to understand that you have recourses available. Further investigation could help uncover the cause of the incident, helping determine any liability. A medical malpractice claim could help hold a negligent party accountable for any losses or damages suffered.

Source: Healthline.com, “Electronic Health Records Creating Problems for Emergency Rooms,” Kristen Fischer, March 16, 2016