A new report on what went wrong in the processing of the late Thomas Eric Duncan upon his first visit to the emergency room proposes that a combination of human and computer errors was responsible. A team of medical informaticists reviewed events leading up to the misdiagnosis, reporting their findings in “Ebola U.S. Patient Zero: Lessons on Misdiagnosis and Effective Use of Electronic Health Records.” The report, published October 23 in the online journal Diagnosis, suggests that certain EHR usability issues can contribute to medical errors. One concern of the researchers is that EHRs are designed to try to “routinize” processing of patient information in a way that may blinder providers when faced with an out-of-the-ordinary situation.
See Modern Healthcare article at “Botched U.S. Ebola diagnosis points to computer, human errors” and Information Week article at “Ebola Misdiagnosis: Experts Examine EHR Lessons”