Previous medical malpractice/birth injury posts have examined the value of electronic medical records in hospital and clinical settings. For those unfamiliar with electronic medical records, they are essentially computerized files - typically available via laptop computer, iPad or other portable devices - that provide health care professionals with instant and comprehensive patient information, including medication regimens, allergies, and medical histories.
Interestingly, a recently published study in the Journal of Political Economy indicates that electronic medical records can even prove instrumental in reducing the overall number of infant fatalities.
According to the study's authors, if the overall use of electronic medical records in U.S. hospitals increased by only ten percent, it would have the effect of saving 16 infants for every 100,000 live births.
Furthermore, the study determined that a full transition to electronic medical records in hospitals across the nation could save the lives of nearly 6,400 infants each year.
The authors arrived at these rather remarkable conclusions by examining infant mortality rates at U.S. hospitals over a twelve-year span. Specifically, they divided their inquiry between hospitals that utilized electronic medical records and those that do not have such technology at their disposal.
They ultimately concluded that the true value of electronic medical records lies in their ability to give physicians immediate access to current medical information, enabling them to make the necessary adjustments to neonatal treatment plans. In addition, electronic medical records were determined to be far more cost-effective than other forms of healthcare intervention.
"[Our study] suggests cautious optimism about the potential value of ... [electronic medical records] in improving neonatal health outcomes and current health policy that is directed toward increasing the spread of these technologies," reads the study.
Stay tuned for more from our Texas wrongful death/medical malpractice blog ...
If you believe your OB/GYN's or other health care staff's negligence may have caused or contributed to your baby's birth injury, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options.
This post was for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal or medical advice.
Infant deaths reduced through EMR use (FierceEMR)