Maryland Law Encourages Maryland Doctors to Computerize Patient Records

In prior posts concerning Maryland medication mistakes, the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have discussed how computerized health records help doctors and pharmacists eliminate medication errors.

Today, Governor Martin O’Malley, signed a bill that is designed to increase the speed with which Maryland doctors implement electronic patient records. The new law hopes to reduce the high costs that doctors must pay to implement electronic patient records systems by requiring private insurance companies to give physicians financial incentives to implement electronic patient records. Under the law, after a doctor implements a computerized records system, insurance companies may offer the doctor increased reimbursements for procedures they perform, a lump sum payment, or some other monetary advance. Additionally, under the new law, the state will fine physicians who have not adopted a computerized records system by 2015.

Since 2003, Maryland has been on the cutting edge of the movement towards computerized patient records. In that year, The Montgomery County Health Information Exchange Collaborative began a pilot program that linked community hospitals, the county’s health department, and area health clinics. The link allowed participating health care providers to easily access patient records.

The program developers believed that their medical information network would have the greatest impact on the county’s poorer citizens and those without health insurance. These individuals generally receive care in a number of different locations, and often times, the facilities do not share vital patient information. The link allowed the facilities to share patient information and reduce the risk of medication errors.

Maryland medication mistake attorneys will review the impact this law has on patient safety, and the state’s progress towards completely computerized patient records.

If you or a loved one have been harmed by a medication mistake in Maryland or Washington, D.C., contact the attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.

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