Monday, 15 of October of 2018

Paramedics in Some Hampton Roads Cities Switch to Electronic Records

An innovative feature in the new system allows paramedics to send patient information to the emergency room before arrival, which gives doctors more time to prepare.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

Paramedics in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake, Virginia (VA) are switching to electronic records in the hopes of improving performance and accuracy. Close to $1 million was spent to subscribe to a software system designed to improve coordination between Emergency Medical Services and various hospitals in the Tidewater area, along with “Toughbook” laptops that paramedics will use when transporting injured patients to the hospital, according to the Virginian Pilot.

If the transition to electronic records actually results in improved performance and accuracy, we may see a drop in preventable medical mistakes. The Institute of Medicine reports that close to 100,000 people die every year due to these medical errors, and these are just the deaths that we know about. That number is based on voluntary reporting and some states are not required to report medical mistakes. This means the problem could be far worse than what’s being reported. Even under the current system, preventable medical errors are the sixth leading killer of Americans, according to justice.org.

An innovative feature in the new system allows paramedics to send patient information to the emergency room before arrival, which gives doctors more time to prepare. More prep time could mean a reduced risk of major medical mistakes. The VA Beach system goes a step further and actually tracks patient outcomes. We should be able to use the data from this system to gauge how effective it actually is in reducing preventable medical errors.

So far, the switch to electronic records appears to be achieving its stated goal. Sonya Wood, a volunteer medic told the Pilot, “I think it’s great. It’s pretty easy to use and it takes up less time. We can get this done quicker so we can continue helping people.”

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. PA


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