Electronic Trace Data and Legal Outcomes: The Effect of Electronic Medical Records on Malpractice Claim Resolution Time

43 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2016

See all articles by Sam Ransbotham

Sam Ransbotham

Boston College - Carroll School of Management

Eric M. Overby

Georgia Institute of Technology

Michael C. Jernigan

Harvard University - Massachusetts General Hospital

Date Written: June 6, 2016

Abstract

Information systems generate detailed "trace" data about what individuals do and when they do it. Trace data may affect the resolution of lawsuits by, for example, changing the time needed for legal discovery. Trace data might speed resolution by clarifying what events happened when, or they might slow resolution by generating new and potentially irrelevant data that must be analyzed. To investigate this, we analyze the effect of electronic medical records (EMRs) on malpractice claim resolution time. Hospitals' use of basic EMRs at the time of the alleged malpractice is associated with a two month (8%) reduction in resolution time, while use of advanced EMRs is associated with a three month (13%) reduction. Because unresolved malpractice claims impose substantial costs on providers and patients, our finding that EMRs speed resolution has important welfare implications. Our study also contributes to the understanding of the effect of trace data on legal outcomes.

Keywords: electronic trace data; lawsuit resolution; electronic medical records; medical malpractice claims; electronic discovery

Suggested Citation

Ransbotham, Sam and Overby, Eric M. and Jernigan, Michael C., Electronic Trace Data and Legal Outcomes: The Effect of Electronic Medical Records on Malpractice Claim Resolution Time (June 6, 2016). Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Research Paper No. 2016-052, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2789795 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2789795

Sam Ransbotham (Contact Author)

Boston College - Carroll School of Management ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.SamRansbotham.com

Eric M. Overby

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

800 West Peachtree St., NW
Atlanta, GA 30308-1149
United States

Michael C. Jernigan

Harvard University - Massachusetts General Hospital ( email )

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
United States

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