Medical liability insurance firms who were once excited about the benefits of EMRs(Electronic Medical Records) have now changed stance because of the possibility of the rise in claims as people and medical personnel adjust to the technology.
An EMR is a computerized medical record on a local health information system that stores and retrieves patients medication and procedure history. This technology was looked upon as a means of providing better patient safety, as insurance market research firm Conning Research and Consulting published in its study, which prompted medical insurers to offer discounts on the premium of those who utilize the system.
Now, the insurance firms are taking a different outlook as they weigh the outcome of patient and doctors adjusting to the EMR and claims attorneys making the most out of more detailed and more extensive data output.
The following factors are the basis for the insurers to backtrack on their offering of discounts to those using EMRs: The “electronic” factor- the possibilities of bugs, viruses, errors and breakdowns will lead to more injury claims from patients. The vast amount of data may overwhelm physicians and, on the other hand, can also be used by plaintiff’s looking for means to claim benefits.
Transition to new technology- inadequate trainings, failure to respond to electronic emails, inappropriate interpretation of data can all lead to a negligence claim by patients.
Meeting standards- as a new medical technology, the conformity to pre-set medical standards and patient care standards are still in question and which would be a solid ground for claimants.
There are positive effects on the use of EMR’s. However, most medical insurers are on a wait-and-see game to check whether the technology will indeed be of an advantage both to them and the patients or a bigger liability that they could have handled.