We can’t sit here and blame the electronic medical records system for the errors that occurred as medicine is the “human” business and EMRs are the tools we used to have all the patient data available to make better informed decisions with treatment and care.  You can go back to the nurse taking the notes and certainly say that the the call should have been made from the nurse, she took the travel notes and added to the chart for one if you like.  There are procedures CDC has for such situations.  Unfortunately hospitals don’t have the money today to drill into all the procedures and get all staff up to date.

In addition, all doctors I see do ask “have you travelled lately”..it’s been that way for years so there’s another potential scenario.  So again let’s not forget that the EMR records we used today are in fact “tools” and it’s the still the human business.  As a matter of fact people do confuse tools and virtual values with the real world here and the tool, the EMR lives in the virtual world as it’s just actionable information and the doctors and nurses are still the ones who put things into action.   Again today we have had story after story about doctors being overworked and the same for nurses and all the additional stress with “coding” and other administrative red tape that occurs.  That is the real world and a real problem. 

We have hospital administrators that are not tuned in to how doctors and nurses are working today, as the focus only on the numbers as everyone is scrambling for money and what we saw was the sad result of such.  We can go revisit the VA situation for a comparison.  If you watched Anderson Cooper, on the video he also noticed and commented that the administrators at the VA could only talk about their numbers and statistics.  I said a while back that the VA was just the tip of the iceberg here and sadly it looks like that comment was on target as we have turned into a nation of “stat rats” if you will. 

VA Crisis Just The Tip of the Iceberg As US Needs a Full On Healthcare Culture Change Everywhere To Get Back In Touch With the Real World of Patients…

Furthermore in speaking of the VA, we had the same “stat rat” mentality come back again with the VA OIG report, stating they could not conclusively determine that patients died and we know better, so again be careful with statistics and reports that you read today and their “context”.  As I said, they took the low road here and over the years we have become accustomed to insurers doing a lot of the same behavior as well. 

VA Inspector General Takes the “Virtual Low Road” With Report at Phoenix Hospital, Working Some Quantitated Mathematical Justifications But We All Know In the “Real” World People Died…

Was the VA a wake up call here?  It appears not at all as again we are trying to blame a medical records system entirely for the human faults that occurred here.  Again medical records are tools for better care and they are not actionable, humans are. 

VA Crisis Should Be A Huge Wake Up Call , We Have Turned Into a Nation of “Stat Rats”, Losing Touch With the “Real” World As Virtual Values Confuse, Collide and Wreak Havoc As Models & Formulas Fail

I could almost say that the other EMR vendors are breathing a sigh of relief saying “thank goodness it wasn’t our system” if you will here.  Again we’re not going to go on an attack of a medical records system here to put the fault entirely there at all and we need to come to our senses and again realize the records system are only tools that help with delivering better healthcare and not the vehicle.  Again we have way too many today out there that confused virtual world values with the real world. Doctors deal with the real world every day and we have a name for that: Patients. 

Virtual Worlds, Real World We Have A Problem And It’s A Big One With A Lot of Gray Areas Finding Where The Defining Lines Exist, Confusing Many With A Lot of Weird Values And Strange Perceptions…

So again while it’s fine to look and see where the information flows may have had some flaws and take action to improve with the medical records, it’s clearly not a case to shift off into a virtual value and put the blame there.  Hopefully at some point we can call grow up to see the big picture here and stop the nit picking and realize that medical records are a “tool” and not the cure nor the treatment.  This was a said state of affairs in the series of events that happened as ebola is nothing to mess around with for sure and nobody did anything intentional here at all. Again we come back to the pressures and working conditions in hospitals and the fact that they don’t have the money anymore to keep tossing out on every Health IT software program that comes out either, nor to adequately take the time to trains all personnel on every new procedure that CDC issues.  I saw an interview from a gentlemen from the CDC who said just that, so someone out there is looking at the real world versus the “virtual values” that people confuse with the real world today.  So we can certainly let Epic off the hook here for shouldering the total blame for all of this. 

So again the screens and customizations on the medical records system can be updated and changed to function better, and as we know all EMRs have “workflow” problems and none are perfect.  It’s time for a huge wake up call too at CMS to get in touch with the real world as their statistical models and what they expect from hospitals with quality reporting is also a broken model in some areas.  It’s a tough nut I agree but again CMS as well, instead of more human concerns has turned into a world of “stat rats” as well and they too forget the real world exists out there today.  BD

Dallas doctors never saw a nurse’s note that an emergency room patient with fever and pains had recently been in Africa, and he was released into the community with Ebola.

The electronic records system at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital didn’t flag the information to the physician, hospital officials said. Even so, the doctor should have known to double-check himself rather than depend on someone else, said Ashish Jha, a health policy professor at Harvard University’s School of Public Health in Boston.

While Watson didn’t respond to questions about why that happened, he said the software, made by Epic Systems Corp., has been reconfigured to bring patients’ travel history to the physician’s screen. It has also been modified “to specifically reference Ebola-endemic regions in Africa,” the hospital said in a statement yesterday.



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