Sunday, October 05, 2014

throwing emr and nurse under the bus to conceal the fact that physician was following profit maximization sop...,


businessweek |  The Dallas hospital treating the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S. sent the patient, Thomas Duncan, home the first time he showed up because the doctors who saw him never learned that he’d just come from West Africa. The hospital has blamed a flaw in its electronic health records for keeping information collected by a nurse, including Duncan’s travel history, from being presented to the treating physician, who mistook Duncan’s symptoms for a low-level infection, on Sept. 25.

The apparent mistake meant Duncan was not admitted and isolated until Sept. 28. That increased the risk of infection for those he came in contact with while he was sick, including his family, who are now quarantined in their Dallas apartment. It also widened the circle of contacts that public health officials must trace and monitor for symptoms

America’s risk of an Ebola epidemic remains vanishingly small. The country has the public health resources and hospital capacity to stop the spread of the infection, which is only transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids after a patient exhibits symptoms. The misstep at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, though, indicates something patients should be spooked about: the very real chance that errors, oversights, or deviations from established procedures could kill them.