How a Cyberattack Might Lead to a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Cyberattacks are a major threat to healthcare facilities today. Ransomware and cybersecurity events are becoming increasingly more common. At a time when the global pandemic has put a considerable strain on the system and created staffing issues, cyber events can reduce the level of care patients receive and lead to serious medical errors. Hacking of hospitals and other medical systems has contributed to or has been the sole cause of several patient injuries. Injured patients are filing medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from cyberattacks.
How Can Cyberattacks Lead to Complications for Patients?
Cyber criminals that hack into healthcare facility systems can disable the Electronic Health Record (EHR). This is the electronic patient medical history, maintained by healthcare providers over time. It contains key clinical data about the patient’s:
- Health conditions
- Lab work
Timely availability of this key data improves accuracy and clarity of medical records, prevents duplication of testing, reduces delays in treatment, and significantly reduces the incidence of medical error. When cyberattacks make it impossible for providers to access this data, it can significantly impact quality of care. In addition, understaffing in healthcare facilities and the potential for human error become even bigger problems when systems are disabled and functions that are normally done automatically must be performed manually.
What Types of Complications Can Patients Suffer as a Result of Cyberattacks?
Cybercrime has led to medical malpractice lawsuits when patients suffered injury as a result. For example, a woman filed a lawsuit against an Alabama hospital, alleging that a cyberattack that had disabled the hospital’s entire network led to the death of her newborn, as reported on SC Media. The attack compromised numerous electronic hospital systems. As a result, the infant was not properly monitored during labor and delivery. The child was born with serious health complications, spent several months in neonatal intensive care, and died.
What Is a Healthcare Facility’s Obligation to Patients Under Its Care?
Hospitals and healthcare facilities have an obligation to patients to provide the best possible care. They have a duty to maintain and service their equipment, provide an efficient layout of space and supplies, and limit or eliminate any obstructions that could prevent clinical staff from providing high-quality medical services. Healthcare facilities must comply with certain industry codes, established under state and federal law. They are responsible for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of all facility equipment, including computers and medical devices.
How Can a Denver Medical Malpractice Attorney Help When a Patient Has Been Injured After a Healthcare Facility Cyberattack?
Patients who were injured when a cyberattack on a healthcare facility led to medical error may be entitled to claim compensation from the facility for their losses. If you or your loved one has suffered such an injury, your best chance of obtaining a full recovery is to have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer handling your claim. We can investigate the incident to determine who and what caused your injuries and vigorously pursue compensation from responsible parties.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., we have been effectively fighting for decades for the rights of people injured through medical negligence. Our Denver medical malpractice attorneys have been admitted to The Inner Circle of Advocates, consisting of the top 100 trial lawyers in the country, and named among Colorado Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America.
Contact us at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906 to schedule a no-charge initial consultation. We can tell you if you have a medical malpractice case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.