E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Health Record Systems

61 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2009 Last revised: 5 Feb 2014

See all articles by Sharona Hoffman

Sharona Hoffman

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Andy Podgurski

Case Western Reserve University

Date Written: July 6, 2010


In the foreseeable future, electronic health record (EHR) systems are likely to become a fixture in medical settings. The potential benefits of computerization could be substantial, but EHR systems also give rise to new liability risks for health care providers that have received little attention in the legal literature. This Article features a first of its kind, comprehensive analysis of the liability risks associated with use of this complex and important technology. In addition, it develops recommendations to address these liability concerns. Appropriate measures include federal regulations designed to ensure the quality and safety of EHR systems along with agency guidance and well crafted clinical practice guidelines for EHR system users. In formulating its recommendations, the Article proposes a novel, uniform process for developing authoritative clinical practice guidelines and explores how EHR technology itself can enable experts to gather evidence of best practices. The authors argue that without thoughtful interventions and sound guidance from government and medical organizations, this promising technology may encumber rather than support clinicians and may hinder rather than promote health outcome improvements.

Keywords: Electronic Health Record (EHR), E-Health, provider liability, health law, health care providers, health information technology, administrative law, clinical practice guidelines, medical malpractice, electronic medical records, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

JEL Classification: K13, K23, K32

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Sharona and Podgurski, Andy, E-Health Hazards: Provider Liability and Electronic Health Record Systems (July 6, 2010). Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 4, p. 1524, 2009, Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1463671

Sharona Hoffman (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3860 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sharonahoffman.com/

Andy Podgurski

Case Western Reserve University ( email )

10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States

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