René Quashie Quoted in “Medical Malpractice: How EHRs Are Changing the Game”


René Y. Quashie, Senior Counsel in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm's Washington, DC, office, was quoted in FierceEMR, in “Medical Malpractice: How EHRs Are Changing the Game,” Marta Durben Hirsch.

Following is an excerpt:

"Unlike paper records, where incomplete or illegible records are expected, with EHRs they're expected to be complete and immediately accessible and portable," explained attorney Rene Quashie, with Epstein Becker Green in the District of Columbia, who also spoke on the webinar.

Perhaps more significantly, EHRs are changing the nature of malpractice litigation. For instance, EHRs hold much more data than paper records. While that seems better, it creates more complexity and increases liability because it's easier to miss a small detail buried in the data; more access to clinical information could create new legal duties to act, such as to search patient information generated by others and available via a health information exchange, Quashie said.

EHRs may even change the "standard of care" required of providers. For instance, a physician who overrides an alert could be accused of deviating from the standard of care, even if the physician is acting appropriately and/or no harm occurred. Clinical decision support guidelines, despite being input into EHRs by computer programmers--not clinicians--could "solidify" the standard of care which otherwise might be subject to debate, Quashie warned.

This article refers to “Electronic Health Information: Assessing the Impact of Law,” a CDC Public Health Law Program and American Bar Association Health Law Section webinar for which Mr. Quashie presented.