Texas Hospital Blames EHR For Ebola Mishandling - InformationWeek

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Texas Hospital Blames EHR For Ebola Mishandling

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas cites lack of interoperability between nurse and physician workflows as reason Ebola patient was sent home.

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bbrown878
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bbrown878,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2014 | 5:38:56 PM
Re: Stop blaming the systems
"The nurse should have paid attention to the patient in front of her and inform the doctor verbally of her findings, instead of relying on a machine"

You are right ... BUT that is what automation of processes do. The users get to a point of complacency, relying on technology to take the place of what used to be something much more personallized. It happens all over, we (that is the population as a whole) are becoming more and more reliant upon technology. Things that used to be personal and interactive are now being replace by technology. Just try calling an insurance company, or a technical company for support... What are your chances of talking to someone. 

Technology is good, but it is also very dangerous. This is a perfect example.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
10/9/2014 | 4:02:39 PM
Re: EHRs still in progress
Also, never forget the unintended consequences that come with EHRs - the nurses expect that the doctors have access to all the same information, so instead of using common sense and mentioning it in person, they leave it to the computer to relay the info the doctor.
shericadore
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shericadore,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/8/2014 | 3:34:04 PM
Re: Stop blaming the systems
The nurse should have paid attention to the patient in front of her and inform the doctor verbally of her findings, instead of relying on a machine.  The computer or application is as smart as the person who is using it.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 10:34:24 AM
Re: Stop blaming the systems
Another problem I see with the surplus of data these days is a surfeit of CYA among medical professionals. This, unfortunately, is coming from personal experience with a family member who has been "diagnosed" with an array of horrible conditions, none of which (so far) has, thankfully, been true. All doctors who have "diagnosed" her have come to their theories from good places; they want to heal or at least treat her and use all these test results to arrive at their diagnoses. But, in some ways, this huge array of data is making the condition worse because of the stress caused by all the wrong readings of data and misdiagnoses. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 10:31:09 AM
Re: Automation Correction -- Human Error
Thank you, @jastroff. I saw that too -- and was going to post it separately. The notice from the hospital came long after I filed the story. What's striking, however, is the readiness with which many experts agreed it COULD happen in the way the Texas hospital first said; that separate workflows might well prevent doctors from seeing nurses' notes. While, thankfully, that was not the case (apparently, according to this second statement) here, if I was the chief medical officer of a hospital I'd be making sure all workflows either integrated or had some kind of sharing capability, post-Texas.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 10:28:32 AM
Re: automation
I agree with you, @Jastroff. You've got an illness that is making headlines on everything from CNN and Fox to the New York Times and business media, an individual who has apparently all the medical symptoms and says he has traveled to a region afflictled with Ebola, and you don't pick up the phone, mutter in a colleague's ear, or escalate the patient's treatment in triage?! 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 10:26:08 AM
Re: There will be more Ebola cases
I agree with you, Charlie, that there will be more cases of Ebola beginning in the United States (as opposed to patients coming to the States after being infected elsewhere). That said, I am more afraid of the enterovirus that has paralyzed several children, killed at least one boy, and sent tens of youngsters to the hospital.
ITSkeptic
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ITSkeptic,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/5/2014 | 3:50:49 PM
Stop blaming the systems
Systems are a reflection of the human processes. What happens at this hospital and others is coded into the EHR systems.

Doctor - nurse communication is so disjointed already that nurses ask all the questions, enter them in. Then two hours later doctor walks in and repeats all the questions. Then reenters everything. 

Entering the data has become such an obsession that the nurse or the doctor barely look at me these days. They are "uh-uhing" me while trying to punch the right keys on the tables or on the laptops. Idiots should have paid more attention to the patient and his state.

Stop blaming the systems. Think about how you work.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
10/4/2014 | 1:06:58 PM
Automation Correction -- Human Error
From the Wall Street Journal –

Looks like they can't blame the system

 

"DALLAS—A day after saying that doctors didn't receive a Liberian patient's travel history due to an electronics records glitch, the Dallas hospital that initially failed to admit the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. has changed its version of events, stating that information that he had come from Africa was in fact available to doctors.

 

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a terse clarification late Friday evening that Thomas Eric Duncan 's travel history was available to physicians as well as nurses in its electronic health records when Mr. Duncan first arrived at the hospital's emergency room on the night of Sept. 25, complaining that he felt ill."
jastroff
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50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
10/4/2014 | 1:06:44 PM
Automation Correction -- Human Error
From the Wall Street Journal –

Looks like they can't blame the system

 

"DALLAS—A day after saying that doctors didn't receive a Liberian patient's travel history due to an electronics records glitch, the Dallas hospital that initially failed to admit the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. has changed its version of events, stating that information that he had come from Africa was in fact available to doctors.

 

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a terse clarification late Friday evening that Thomas Eric Duncan 's travel history was available to physicians as well as nurses in its electronic health records when Mr. Duncan first arrived at the hospital's emergency room on the night of Sept. 25, complaining that he felt ill."
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