Expected Malpractice Insurance Discounts for EMR Haven't Materialized Yet

Expected malpractice insurance discounts to practices for installing electronic medical records have not yet materialized, according to a report by American Medical News.

Malpractice insurers had been promising that EMRs would lower rates by improving patient safety, but insurers now believe claims will initially rise as practices work through kinks in the new systems.

Insurers' new approach came to light in a November study by Conning Research and Consulting. The study found that "as systems are tested, errors with coding data input and software-interoperability failures may occur." Also, since EMR makes patient data much easier for plaintiffs' attorneys to collect, the study said claims frequency is likely to increase initially.

Also, problems with EMR systems are more likely at financially struggling medical facilities where physicians and nurses are overworked and do not notice computerized alerts, a Conning expert said.

However, experts believe physicians will eventually learn to use the new systems and the improved documentation will actually enhance physicians' ability to defend themselves against liability claims.

Read the American Medical News report on malpractice insurance discounts for EMR.

Read more coverage about EMRs:

- Institute of Medicine Panel Will Study Safety of EHRs

- Half of Physicians Use at Least Partial EMR in Their Offices: CDC Survey

- Survey Suggests Total Cost of EHR Adoption Could Amount to $120K Per Physician

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