Berman & Asbel, LLP

Should Doctors Lose Their Licenses Because They Won't Use Computers?

There are many legal requirements with which health care workers must comply as part of their professional duties. Failure to do so may result in the loss or suspension of their licenses to practice, even if patients are satisfied with the care they provided.

Increasingly, these professional duties include utilizing various technological tools to do such things as track prescriptions and update medical records. Doctors who prefer analog methods to digital methods could face challenges to their licenses.

A Doctor Is Forced to Surrender Her License for Non-Compliance

One example of this situation involved an 84-year-old doctor, Anna Konopka, who recently felt forced to surrender her medical license when her care practices came under fire. The New Hampshire State Board of Medicine questioned her ability to practice medicine based on reports that she did not use computers and was not in compliance with state requirements to log patient prescriptions.

Dr. Konopka attempted to regain her license, standing by her "old fashioned" way of practicing medicine. She says she prefers conversation to electronic medical records when it comes to making a diagnosis.

Is Non-Digital Harmful?

This case begs the question of whether a doctor's license should be in jeopardy if he or she utilizes non-digital methods of practicing medicine. Doctors who have been practicing medicine for decades, and long before electronic systems became available, typically have their own processes and standards for providing effective care.

Of course, it is crucial for doctors and nurses to keep accurate records, prescribe medication responsibly, and comply with state regulations to maintain their licenses. Is it necessary, however, to require them to use electronic tools to do so?

There is no easy answer to this question, which means similar disputes will wind up in court in the future.

There may very well be health care professionals right here in Pennsylvania who are facing potential loss of license because of noncompliance with various technological reporting standards. If you face this situation, then legal support in defending your license is critical.

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