CA Nurses Sound Alarm Over Epic EMR System

Two nurses have approached the governing body of a California hospital with concerns about patient safety. The move stems from an incident in which one nurse claims that the facility's EpicCare EMR system's dosage recommendation for a heart medication "could have killed" a patient.

4 comments on "CA Nurses Sound Alarm Over Epic EMR System"
jltbdy (9/24/2012 at 11:31 AM)

Wow. sensationalism title. seems to me the content of this article has nothing to do with the title. Some other agenda? Simply because a facility's implementation has problems, doesnt mean the product is bad. I agree w/Andrew...mud slinging without any factual foundation. I'm a Hosp IT questions are: Why didnt the build issues get identified in testing? & Why can't the RN's work "with" IT instead of filing going around it?
Denise (8/27/2012 at 4:31 PM)

I have to agree in part with Andrew. Regardless of the system that is being used, ultimately nurses are the last line of defense to patients and the medications we receive. Computers will still have errors from time to time, but it does not mean that it is a bad system. We still have to mind our 5 "rights" (or however many there are now). Relying on computers to do the work for you will not serve you or your patients wisely. They are a tool to help and should not be seen as anything more.
Andrew (8/23/2012 at 12:08 PM)

Having worked extensively with Epic for the last 5 years, including several years actually at Epic, I feel your statement is incredibly unfair. In what situations have you seen where Epic doesn't hold up in challenging situations? What basic design flaws with the system are you referencing? I see you making broad statements without any real support or validation of your statements. Epic is a highly configurable system. The incident in question here is the result of a build error, not the fault of the application itself. There's nothing hard-coded into the system that would cause an incorrect dosage to be displayed. The incorrect dosage is 100% a build error on the analysts who was assigned to that particular build task. That's why Epic nor any other EMR, will EVER take the place of actual human review. Epic is installed to help make lives better, but that's very rarely without growing pains. What these nurses likely don't tell you or bring up is the insanely convoluted workflows, the mountains of handwritten and post-it notes that goes currently into meds admin [INVALID] I know, because I've seen it. The margin for error in a world-based on post-its is far far greater than that within a structured system.
R Daniel King (8/22/2012 at 10:35 AM)

Epic reminds me of a 1969 Jaguar XKE roadster I owned; expensive to buy, constant tinkering, fails to perform in serious situations, and cheap flaws in its basic design making it very undependable but it did wow the undiscerning country club set impressed with expensive cars. I sold the XKE, but hospitals are stuck with Epic for a long, long, long time.


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