Electronic records short circuit, allowing Ebola patient’s release

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

A Dallas hospital’s debacle has highlighted the atrociousness of many electronic health records. [s]The Atlantic[/s] reports that the hospital has released a statement explaining how it managed to release an Ebola-infected patient back into the ninth-largest city in the [b]US[/b] and it blamed the mistake on a computer software error.

The statement reads: ‘Protocols were followed by both the physician and the nurses. However, we have identified a flaw in the way the physician and nursing portions of our electronic health records (EHR) interacted in this specific case.’

The report says the incident underscores how important it is for doctors and hospitals to find EHRs that work well. But it notes that according to a major [b]RAND[/b] study, doctors felt ‘current EHR technology interferes with face-to-face discussions with patients; requires physicians to spend too much time performing clerical work; and degrades the accuracy of medical records by encouraging template-generated doctors’ notes.’

Full report in The Atlantic
RAND study abstract

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