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Healthcare organizations petition Congress about data

In a letter sent to Congress on May 9, three large healthcare organizations, including the AMA and American Health Information Management Association, petitioned representatives to aid the private sector in adopting safe and secure electronic exchange of health information. Specifically, these stakeholders are urging Congress to include language in appropriations deals for health, education, labor and other departments to deal with costly patient matching problems arising from electronic record errors.

Problems with patient identification and data matching can lead to a wide range of problems, including lost diagnoses, incorrect patient orders, and even mixed up surgery sites. As more providers exchange data without a proper security strategy in place, the potential for making errors increases. In addition, duplicate patient records can increase overall costs and skew analysis of systemic data.

According to research by New Black Book, errors can put undue costs on healthcare providers. In the effort to cut costs due to such mistakes, patients can suffer. As more organizations exchange data, these problems become more complex to solve. Cosigners of the letter to Congress believe that the federal government is in the best position to improve standards because information will end up being shared across state lines.

Patients who experience medical malpractice due to mistakes made with their electronic health records may be able to get compensation from the responsible parties. If a patient thinks they are a victim of this type of negligence, they may wish to seek the advice of an attorney in pursuing damages. A malpractice lawyer representing a victim may be able to negotiate a settlement with the hospital responsible or file a lawsuit if necessary.

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