Is Automation in Healthcare a Good Thing for Patients?

June 24th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more common in the healthcare industry. Equipment such as deep learning algorithms that can read CT scans faster than humans to natural language processing (NLP) that can comb through unstructured data in electronic health records (EHRs), can make medical procedures quicker and more accurate. Automating routine tasks that take up a medical professional’s time can allow doctors to focus on the care of patients with serious conditions. Most robotic and laparoscopic surgery, along with new medical devices, have become a major component of health care.   The safety of all of this automation and new technology is by no means guaranteed.

Unfortunately, there are also downsides to the increased use of automation, with concerns about privacy problems, ethics, and medical errors. While for many patients, the human touch can bring healing that a machine can never offer, automation brings less personal contact between patients and medical professionals.

Trusting an AI nurse or physician with diagnoses, treatment decisions, and other direct patient-care tasks may not always be the best solution.  Already, patients complain that clinicians do not spend enough time examining them and fail to pick up on non-verbal cues because they are focused on their keyboards instead of the person in front of them.  Artificial intelligence may be more susceptible than people to making assumptions if the data they are trained on leans to certain perspectives. AIl can easily make mistakes understanding words spoken into a machine. Additionally, there are challenges around data privacy and security that could result in a high-profile data breach.

If mistakes due to use of artificial intelligence cause serious injury or fatalities, patients and their families may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you or a loved one has suffered harm, you should seek legal representation to determine whether you can be compensated for your loss. However, due to the complexity and issues involving medical malpractice, your case must be handled correctly and competently by an experienced attorney. 

The skilled and seasoned Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to negligence and malpractice by medical professionals and hospitals. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation.

We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your case and determine how we can help, so contact us online or call our offices to set up your free consultation.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

According to Pennsylvania law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional commits medical negligence by violating the generally accepted standard of care used by other medical professionals in the area.  The resulting injury must have been directly caused by the professional’s actions or omission of actions, and the injury must have led to damages.

The law governing manufacturers of products, including software, are governed by different laws generally referred to as products liability. In many of these fields federal regulations are also significant and concepts of preemption may be at issue.

Artificial Intelligence providers need to be absolutely certain that the algorithms they use are presenting all of the relevant information in a way that enables optimal decision-making.  They should be held legally responsible for any negative consequences from data they have in their possession that might have been misused or misinterpreted.

What Compensation Can I Get?

If you win a medical malpractice case, you may receive compensation for the following:

1) Economic or monetary damages, including:

  • Past, present and future medical expenses such as costs for doctors, hospitals, rehabilitation, therapy, and corrective surgeries
  • Time spent away from work, lost wages and loss of future wage horizon
  • Funeral costs, in a death case including cost of administration and other related costs.

2) Non-economic damages — less tangible losses such loss of life’s enjoyment prior to death, emotional distress and trauma, disfigurement, loss of consortium, companionship and pain and suffering.

3) Punitive damages in rare cases where a medical professional acted in ways that are deemed malicious and reckless. Punitive damages are more common in products liability claims.

The Pennsylvania statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years. Sometimes a so-called tolling or discovery rule would apply, but this is a very factually intensive procedure.  Also, the Mcare Act sets forth a statute or repose and there are different rules for minors as well. The law on statute of limitations is quite complex.

Trust Our Firm for Honest Answers

If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to medical malpractice from artificial intelligence or any other reason, you may be entitled to compensation However, medical malpractice law is highly regulated by a complex body of rules, and your case must be handled properly or you may never receive the settlement you are entitled to.

Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, the experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

Attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.

Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.  Rieders is a member of the Million Dollar Advocate Form.

Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field. Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws.

Rieders is a nationally Board Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  He is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields.  He does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Do not delay. Contact us online or call our offices today to set up your free consultation.