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Computer errors could cause problems for medical providers

Patients in New York and throughout the country could be vulnerable due to computer systems failing or being hacked. At one hospital, a patient's heart surgery was interrupted because the computer began doing a virus scan. Surgeons were unable to access data and had to reboot the system.

In that case, human error was the problem. The virus software had been set to scan every hour even though this went against software guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration stated that the anti-virus software should have only scanned vulnerable files and should not have included patient data. The patient was sedated at the time and was unaffected by the event.

There have been other cases in which the computer systems of health care providers have been vulnerable. One hospital's system was hacked with a virus in March along with a demand for $3.6 million in bitcoin although the system was restored after only a $17,000 payment. Another provider was taken offline by hackers and had to resort to using paper systems. In the meantime, it was impossible for staff to access patient records or for patients to make appointments.

If human error results in a problem with computers that harms a person during a medical procedure or in some other way, it might be possible to file a lawsuit against the medical provider for any injuries or worsened conditions. In cases such as these, the patient might want to speak to attorney. The provider may offer to settle out of court, and the attorney may be able to help the patient decide whether the offer is worthwhile or if litigation is a better option.

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