Years ago in my work as expert witness I realized that the paper versions of EMRs documenting care at early adopters like HMOs and the VA seemed awkward and poor representations of the actual computer record. A few days ago a prominent hospitalist friend observed at a grand rounds on EMR that these systems have become so complex and unique that each may require training and even certification for the physicians who use them, a significant problem for docs who cover hospitals with different EMRs.
Will these facts affect future litigation? Will an expert need certification to be a credible witness in a case where records are electronic? Will it suffice to provide the expert a stack of printed records, or must access be granted to the EMR itself, perhaps even in the courtroom, to achieve a valid picture of the record? If so, how will we provide the expert an accurate picture of the record at the relevant point in time?