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EMR Safety Warnings at CA Health System Echo Joint Commission's

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, August 21, 2012

"Patient safety is impaired by the failure to quickly fix technology when it becomes counterproductive, especially because unsolved problems engender dangerous workarounds."

Those words might have been spoken at last week's Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meeting in Martinez, CA, where two nurses went public with concerns about the safety of their county health system's July 1 Epic EMR implementation.

In fact, those words were published in 2008 by the Joint Commission. What healthcare leaders have to ask this week is, how seriously have these problems been addressed, since they are still occurring in 2012?

Laura Easley, RN, and Lee Ann Fagen, RN, are nurses at a Contra Costa County hospital clinic at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, CA. Here's what they had to say last week. 

"We went through the process of meetings where Epic showed health services the workflow they had created," said Laura Easley, RN.  "Numerous times our health team told the Epic group there were many concerns. When we went live with the system, the problems we addressed were even more obvious. Health professionals are being told by non-health professionals how we should conduct our health practice. This cannot be."

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