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E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability & Electronic Health Records
CWRU Law Downtown Lecture Series
NOV 16, 2011
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Ave., 2nd floor
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
CLE Credit
Approved for 1 hour of in-person CLE credit
Electronic health record (EHR) systems are becoming a fixture in medical facilities. All attorneys who serve health care providers must understand the legal implications of health information technology use. The potential benefits of computerization are substantial, but EHR systems also give rise to new medical error risks and liability concerns for health care providers. This talk will analyze the potential hazards associated with use of this complex and important technology in the clinical setting. These relate to the systems’ usability, safety, and security.

While EHR technology can enhance treatment outcomes, it might, in some circumstances, endanger patient welfare or strain the physician-patient relationship. Medical errors can occur because of all of the following: 1) information overload; 2) data display problems; 3) sloppy use of the copy and paste feature; 3) typing mistakes; 4) flawed decision support alerts and reminders; 5) software defects; and 6) computer shut-downs. Health care providers transitioning to EHR systems also must adjust their work habits and learn to use computers at the bedside and the examination room at the same time that they interact with patients.

Other concerns exist as well. EHR system demands, electronic communication with patients, and patients’ access to their medical data through personal health records can complicate clinicians’ work and change patients’ expectations or relationship with their care givers. In addition, once information is computerized, both patients and health care providers may worry that privacy will be compromised through hacking, stolen or lost laptops, accidental disclosures to third parties, or intentional information leaks. Anxiety about privacy can add further stress to treatment encounters.

In light of these concerns, the federal government has begun to enact regulations to oversee the quality of EHR systems. The talk will analyze the regulations and argue that in their current form, they fail to provide comprehensive protection to EHR system users and patients.
Speaker Information
Sharona Hoffman
Professor of Law and Bioethics
Co-Director, Law-Medicine Center
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Sharona Hoffman received her B.A. magna cum laude from Wellesley College, her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and an LL.M. in health law from the University of Houston. Professor Hoffman teaches Health Law courses, Employment Discrimination, and Civil Procedure. She has worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, the Agency for HealthCare Research & Quality, and other prestigious national organizations. She has lectured throughout the United States and internationally and has been widely quoted in the press, including in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Professor Hoffman has published over 50 articles and book chapters, most of which focus on health law and civil rights law. Her current research focuses on the legal and ethical implications of health information technology.

Additional Information
8:00-8:30 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast preceding each program.
8:30-9:30 a.m. – Lecture

Free and open to the public.
1. hr. continuing legal education credit available, pending approval.

Case Downtown Lectures will take place on the following dates:
Fall 2011: September 14, October 26, November 16, December 14

Spring 2012: January 11, February 8, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13

At one-hour CLE activities, Ohio Supreme Court regulations require attorneys to be present for the entire hour to obtain credit. Therefore, registration for one-hour lectures will close at the time the event is scheduled to start. Everyone is welcome to attend the lecture, but we cannot submit CLE credit for late arrivals.

Recording in any form is prohibited

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