Texas Hospital Blames EHR For Ebola Mishandling - InformationWeek

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Texas Hospital Blames EHR For Ebola Mishandling
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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.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
10/3/2014 | 6:21:10 PM
There will be more Ebola cases
I think it's fortunate that this incident occurred so early in the appearance of Ebola in the U.S. We still face the prospect of a much more widespread occurrence of the disease, even though it seems largely confined to W. Africa. Now every health care facility in the U.S. is on notice that it doesn't want to be the next Texas Health Presbyterian. I think it's inevitable that more cases will appear.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/3/2014 | 5:04:54 PM
Re: EHRs still in progress
I get the sense from speaking to execs for this and other articles on EHRs that some hospitals have more integrated systems, others have less integrated ones but most are working toward more interoperability both between teams (doctors and nurses) and departments. That said, we can't solely rely on technology if a patient comes in with something like MERS or Ebola. We can rely on good old-fashioned common sense and talk to each other as well. I realize we're all busy but some things take precedence over others, with or without automation. It's easy, of course, to criticize from afar and apparently this hospital has handled many other contagious diseases in the past. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/3/2014 | 5:02:11 PM
Re: automation
According to everything I've read, yes: Had the doctor known the patient had been in Western Africa and had those symptoms, he would have kept the patient in the hospital and tested him for Ebola. 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
10/3/2014 | 4:27:47 PM
automation
So here's the question: If the patient's travel history had been reported to clinician and conveyed to other medical personnel via oral or written report, would the handling of the patient have been different? If so, EHRs need some rethinking.


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