The Donahey Law Firm, LLC
Free Consultation: Email


Home of the Million Dollar Verdicts
Offices Menu
Get Your FREE Case Review Talk to a lawyer for free with no obligation. Let’s talk.

FOR SERIOUS INJURIES, Call the Lawyers Other Lawyers CallTM

"Sloppy" Copy and Paste Errors Exist in Many Medical Records

Electronic health records or "EHRs" have taken over American hospitals in the last ten years. Proponents hoped that using electronic documentation would improve patient safety - all caregivers would have immediate online access to all of the patient's medical information in the same place.

According to a recent study, however, EHRs involve at least one big risk that hard copy medical records did not: "sloppy and paste." "Sloppy and paste" refers to the practice of copying a body of existing text from one record and pasting it into an updated record. If the doctor or nurse does not carefully review the text to be sure that it is still accurate and relevant, outdated information can appear in a later entry.

This leads to confusion and potentially serious mistakes on the part of other caregivers who base decisions on the mistakenly copied text in the future. Medication errors and overdoses are one particularly dangerous risk.

New research looked at this problem by using software to search EHRs for bodies of identical text in progress notes. The study found that between 74 and 82 percent of progress notes consisted of at least 20 percent copied information. If these numbers are accurate, they would represent an improvement from another study in 2010. That study found that copy-and-pasted text made up 54 percent of surveyed progress notes.

This indicates a big patient safety problem. With awareness of this issue growing, hospitals may have an obligation to take more meaningful steps to prevent dangerous "sloppy and paste" errors.

Source: American Medical News, "EHRs: 'Sloppy and paste' endures despite patient safety risk," Kevin B. O'Reilly, Feb. 4, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Email Us Your Case Information For A Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


The Donahey Law Firm
495 S High St #300
Columbus, OH 43215

Telephone: 614-224-8166
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480
Fax: 614-849-0475
Email Us | Columbus Law Office Map

Branch Offices

Dayton Office
Local: 937-224-3030
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Cincinnati Office
Local: 513-721-9400
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Delaware Office
Local: 740-363-4969
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Covington Office
Local: 859-261-0572
Toll-Free: 800-792-1480

Mobile Office

Toll-Free: 800-792-1480
Learn More

Donahey Law Firm Logo
Logo: Facebook Logo: LinkedIn Logo: Twitter Logo: YouTube Logo: Google+