Doctors and nurses around the country work long hours on their feet, caring for patients in hospitals and medical offices. But their responsibilities don't end when they come off the floor. Doctors and nurses are required by law to adequately maintain their patients' medical records or risk being disciplined by their state licensing boards. This added responsibility is time-consuming but is crucial to providing adequate patient care.
Paperwork has always been a big part of doctors' and nurses' jobs, and medical record-keeping errors are a common cause for state licensing boards to pursue disciplinary action against doctors and nurses. The transition to Electronic Medical records (EMRs) seems to have increased doctors' and nurses' record-keeping workloads — and the potential for them to make mistakes.
Some of the most common paperwork errors that doctors and nurses make include:
- Entering information into the wrong patient's chart.
- Transcribing errors, such as writing "hypo" instead of "hyper."
- Using incorrect abbreviations.
- Failing to update patients' charts with current information.
- Omitting a medical record entry's date and time.
- Failing to sign medical entries.
- Omitting information.
- Entering incomplete information.
- Entering incorrect information.
- Illegible handwriting.
- Data entry errors.
- Errors in copying and pasting between documents.
Doctors and Nurses Can Lose Their Licenses for Making Paperwork Errors
For example, North Carolina nurses face disciplinary action if they fail to maintain "an accurate record of all pertinent health care information" of their patients. Similarly, Minnesota will discipline medical professionals who fail "to maintain adequate patient records."
Doctors and nurses who make paperwork mistakes may face accusations of failing to maintain adequate patient records. As a result, they may suffer serious consequences, including license suspension, revocation, and probation.
Doctors' and Nurses' Paperwork Errors Put Patients at Risk and Expose Hospitals to Liability
In addition to jeopardizing their licenses, doctors' and nurses' paperwork mistakes can have other devastating consequences.
Doctors' and nurses' paperwork mistakes can jeopardize patients' health and safety. Errors and omissions in patients' charts can cause catastrophic harm and may prevent them from receiving the care that they need. A wrong diagnosis entered into a patient's chart compromises their health and safety. Paperwork errors pertaining to medication can be fatal.
Paperwork mistakes can also expose hospitals to legal liability. Incomplete and inaccurate medical records may subject hospitals to allegations of inadequate or incomplete care; non-compliance with hospital policies; medical malpractice; and fraud.
The Lento Law Firm Can Help Doctors and Nurses Whose Licenses Are at Risk Because of Paperwork Errors
The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team have years of experience successfully defending doctors and nurses around the country in state disciplinary proceedings. They can defend doctors and nurses whose licenses are on the line because of paperwork mistakes and help them keep the careers they worked so hard to achieve. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit a confidential online consultation form.