Computer Harms “Numerous” Arizona Patients; Nurses In Tears

Rogue computer overrides hospital staff, harms patients; 

“The issue is patient safety and harm to patients … the staff are in tears”

| “Inability to care for critically ill patients … ”

| Stephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star – There were “numerous” reports of medical errors after Banner Health’s conversion to a new computer system at its Tucson facilities late last year, state records show.

Records of an Arizona Department of Health Services investigation into complaints about Banner’s computer conversion released to the Star after a public-records request were heavily redacted.

But the records indicate Banner’s Oct. 1 switch adversely affected patients and caused a high level of frustration among some staff members.

One complaint, dated Oct. 19 says, “The biggest issue is patient safety and harm to patients,” and that “many of the staff are in tears and frustrated because of the lack of support and empathy to the consequences of patient care.”

Hospital leaders acknowledged delays in getting patients registered, delays in ordering and receiving lab results and delays in ordering and getting medications, records say, but said no patients were harmed.

“Hospital leadership denied there were any incidents … ” 

“Hospital leadership denied there were any incidents that resulted in a negative outcome to patients, however, the hospital’s occurrence log for October 2017 showed numerous incidents of medical errors reported to be a result of the conversion,” state investigators wrote.

The Arizona Department of Health Services did not fine or cite Banner.

Banner took “sufficient corrective action” for issues raised in two substantiated allegations about the conversion, records show.

The two substantiated allegations were connected to two October complaints about “the inability to reliably deliver medications, order tests and care for critically ill patients,” and “multiple computer/printer glitches” impacting patient care, the state records say.

Banner Health officials declined interview requests and did not directly answer any of the Star’s questions about the state records. Instead, the company sent two emailed statements.

The statements, dated July 13 and July 17, say more than 100 improvements to the new Cerner electronic health records system have been implemented this year … Read the full story at Tuscon.com.

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