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The president’s stimulus has put taxpayers behind $30 billion in electronic medical records (EMR) expenses. The money in question and the technological disasters that were born out the EMR “upgrades” have many upset, and rightly so. But you shouldn’t expect to hear about these issues from doctors or the hospital administrators who employ them. This is because many of these physicians and their bosses are under a “gag clause.” Gag clauses preclude medical professionals from discussing these failings. Unfortunately, poor information technology in hospitals across the country have proven to have serious, dangerous consequences for patients. And not having access to discourse amongst physicians about EMR problems is troubling.
Through public record requests for health systems in places like New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Miami, we can find usage of the medical field’s biggest EMR vendors. And it has been found that each these EMR contracts contain within them clauses that protect great amounts of important information from being exposed to the public. This is the first time the existence of these gag clauses has been proven.
Electronic medical records software salespeople say that the gag clause restrictions only traget breaches of intellectual property and are rarely used to matters of importance. However, doctors, academics, and members of Congress contend that the gag clauses prevent important discourse-most importantly, that there is even a problem in the first place. In particular cases, it has been noted that the software’s faults can have played a role in seriously injuring and killing patients, and that physicians and other healthcare professionals have been misled by relying on it for critical information in grave situations.
Cases where people are hurt or killed because of failing medical technology are very sensitive. The gag clauses make it even more of a difficult situation to handle. But it is important that you or someone you love was injured or worse because of inadequate electronic medical records software, speak to one of the Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys at Richards & Richards. Your initial consultation is free. We will assess the details of your case and proceed with a plan that will be in the best interests of you and your family. Call today at 412-261-2620.
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