Medical Errors

464 words | 2 page(s)

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and summarize the major content of an article which was published in 2013. The article is being written on specific subject matter, which is medical errors related to charting.

The article entitled: Medical charting errors can drive patient liability suits, was written by American Medical News staff, and published in American Medical News on 25 March, 2013. The content and main points of the article highlight the reasons why physicians can be sued because of charting errors. The article highlights one particular case which was due to a patient experiencing an unsatisfactory outcome after receiving bypass grafting for their coronary artery. At the time of discovery, the attorney for the plaintiff asked whether the physicians had looked over patient lab reports and films while a consultation was being conducted. Stimmel, who was written about by medical education experts, HC Media, in a piece discussing errors in charting, notes that the law suit alleges that: ‘the physician didn’t take the time to look at the computer and go over the labs….[Then] three years later… they say, ‘I’m sure I looked at that,’ but there’s no charting to back it up’ (American Medical News (2013).

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The article writer goes on to discuss the fact that legal experts are seeing a rise in liability cases concerning incorrect medical charting. And that when there is a law suit, the charting (either electronic or paper), is examined. And if it falls below standard, then it is utilized as evidence against the physician or healthcare provider. Stimmel notes that one of the main errors is incomplete information, and that physicians may omit filling out the complete treatment that was given, and details of their discussion with the patient. And that another expanding area of concern is physicians forgetting to chart discussions they have had about their patients with medical staff. Detailed charting is crucial. Another main subject that is brought up by the author, is problems with e-charting technology, as this can lead to errors.

With regard to the most recent version of the ‘Do Not Use’ list, I do not think that it would have helped avoid the error relating to missing out data on treatment and what was discussed at the consultation; but I do think it would have helped looking over patient lab reports and films during the consultation. There have not been any such issues relating to charting that I have had personally, or that I know of at my facility, because the medical staff are well briefed on this procedure. I believe that a potential solution to medical issues related to charting could be a simple check list.

  • American Medical News (2013). ‘Medical charting errors can drive patient liability suits.’ Retrieved from

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