For any physician, the potential of having to address a malpractice claim represents a major area of concern. It is thus in the best interest of medical professionals everywhere to mitigate this risk wherever and whenever possible.

Reduce Medical Malpractice

A recent study in Massachusetts by Harvard Medical School has found a positive relationship between the use of electronic medical record software by physicians and a decrease in medical malpractice claims. In the study, 275 physicians were tracked and surveyed between the years 2005 and 2007. During that time period, 33 experienced malpractice claims. Of the total 52 claims that were filed, 49 took place before EMR implementation and only two were filed after implementation. Within the scope of this study, researchers estimated that the likelihood of experiencing a malpractice claim was reduced by 84 percent following electronic record implementation.

Although this research is limited by a relatively small sample size, it is nonetheless helpful when evaluating the effects of EMR on medical malpractice claim volume. The implication of this research is that contrary to the inference by some that EMR will increase the occurrence of malpractice claims, it can actually lower their number.

In addition to the ability of electronic medical records to streamline your medical practice from a functionality standpoint, they must also be considered within the context of lowering your exposure to malpractice risk. Not only is EMR implementation a formidable organizational tool, but it is also a way to bolster your practice’s security and valuable reputation.