Wednesday, June 15, 2016
I Have Heard Of Some Health IT Fiascos But This One Is Right Up There!
Dr Terry Hannan spotted this amazing yarn.
By Cindy E. Harnett, Victoria Times Colonist
Implementation of a $174-million Vancouver Island-wide electronic health record system in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital — set to expand to Victoria by late 2017 — is a huge failure, say senior physicians.
After a year of testing, the new paperless iHealth system rolled out in Nanaimo on March 19. Island Health heralds the system as the first in the province to connect all acute-care and diagnostic services through one electronic patient medical record, the first fully integrated electronic chart in the province.
But nine weeks after startup, physicians in the Nanaimo hospital’s intensive-care and emergency departments reverted to pen and paper this week “out of concern for patient safety.”
Doctors said the system is flawed — generating wrong dosages for the most dangerous of drugs, diminishing time for patient consultation, and losing critical information and orders.
“The whole thing is a mess,” said a senior physician. “What you type into the computer is not what comes out the other end.
“It’s unusable and it’s unsafe. I’m surprised they haven’t pulled it. I’ve never seen errors of the kind we are now seeing.”
Doctors are so concerned, they want Island Health to suspend the implementation.
“Take it away and fix it and test it before you bring it back — stop testing it on our people,” said one doctor. “Why wasn’t this introduced in Victoria first? If they went live in Victoria first, they would have a riot.”
The doctors, who fear reprisals, spoke to the Times Colonist on condition of anonymity.
The $174-million system started with a 10-year, $50-million deal for software and professional services signed in 2013 with Cerner Corporation, a health information technology company headquartered in Kansas City. Thus far, the company has been paid close to $12 million. The remaining $124 million is to be spent by Island Health for hardware, training and operating the system.
The system is being used in Nanaimo’s hospital, Dufferin Place residential care centre (also in Nanaimo), and Oceanside Health Centre in Parksville.
Since March 19, mobile touch-screen computer console carts have been rolling around hospital hallways. Voice-recognition dictation software immediately transcribes a doctor’s verbal notes into a patient’s electronic record, and scanners track each bar-coded patient bracelet around the hospital.
But doctors complain the new technology is slow, overly complicated and inefficient.
“The iHealth computer interface for ordering medications and tests is so poorly designed that not only does it take doctors more than twice as long to enter orders, even with that extra effort, serious errors are occurring on multiple patients every single day,” wrote one physician at the Nanaimo hospital.
“Tests are being delayed. Medications are being missed or accidentally discontinued.”
Doctors can’t easily find information entered by nurses, the physician wrote.
There are also complaints about the pharmacy module of Cerner’s integrated system — the only joint build between Island Health and Cerner.
Lots more here:
It’s hard to know what one can add. It seems pretty clear that the implementation testing phase just did not deliver the warning that more work was needed before going live.
It also seems clear that the engagement with clinicians in terms of education might have been a little weak - to say the least.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Wednesday, June 15, 2016