Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Here Is The Sort Of Problem Clinical Safety Assessment Is Meant To Address But Struggles With.

The following appeared a few days ago.

Doc: EHR Problems Affect Patient Relationships

JUN 8, 2012 12:21pm ET
Electronic health records systems definitely affect the willingness of patients to share medical information, sometimes in a negative way, says psychiatrist Scott Monteith, M.D.
He spoke during a session at the Health Privacy Summit in Washington. Monteith, medical informaticist at Michigan State University, uses an EHR in his practice. A recent patient, feeling stigmatized by past diagnoses, opted not to reveal private medical information, he said.
Two years ago, another of Monteith’s patients found an error in her electronic health records that indicated a history of inhalant abuse. It turned out that the EHR did not distinguish between four similar diagnostic codes, which included inhalant abuse, which the patient had not experienced, and caffeine addiction, which she had.
The EHR bundled the four diagnoses, and the viewing window had room to display one--the erroneous inhalant abuse. The patient was grateful for efforts to find and rectify the problem, but stopped coming in, Monteith said. Two years later, the problem--resulting from errors by the software vendor and implementation contractor--remains, in large part because the vendor has been unresponsive.
Lots more here:
There are so many lessons here it is hard to know where to start.
We have a patient feeling stigmatised and as a result not continuing with treatment.
We have a Health IT Vendor who seems to think a system that is clearly linked to clinical problems can be left in a faulty state for 2 years.
Lastly we have a clinician who is unable to get a remedy quickly to a problem that is clear, defined and fixable.
All one can do is sympathise. We have to wonder just how responsive to errors of this sort being identified will we find the NEHRS provider and their subcontractors to be. Governance that does not address issues like this swiftly will be a danger for all involved.
David.

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