In the Courts: Minnesota Court: Inaccuracies in the EHR Not a Compensable Injury
January 24, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System
Inaccuracy in a patient's medical records does not constitute a "compensable injury" in and of itself, a Minnesota court of appeals ruled in an unpublished court opinion. After receiving calls from a pharmacy alerting her to pick up a medication that had not been prescribed for her, the plaintiff suspected that her medical records had been compromised. Requesting review of her records with the clinic where she was a patient, the plaintiff learned that her file contained numerous incorrect entries, including illnesses she had never suffered, appointments she had never made, and medications she had never taken. The clinic suggested her file may have been confused with that of another patient with a similar name. Although it agreed to remove some of the allegedly incorrect entries, it declined to remove all of them because it said it could not determine with certainty which were incorrect. The plaintiff sued the clinic and several of its employees alleging negligent failure to maintain accurate medical records in violation of an administrative rule and a common law duty of care.
The plaintiff alleged that she delayed medical and dental care because she no longer trusted the clinic but was reluctant to have her error-ridden records transferred to a new provider. She claimed that "past and future medical expenses" that could arise from these delays in care constituted compensable injuries; in particular, she alleged she suffered prolonged tooth pain from delaying a wisdom tooth extraction. She also claimed emotional damages resulting from stress and worry over her delayed care, and from worry about...