Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Expensive Healthcare Computing Mistake: $1.5 Million

At my June 2011 post "Babies' deaths spotlight safety risks linked to computerized systems" I reported on a case (case #2) of an infant death in part attributed to HIT (PACS) interference in otherwise simple care processes.

In "Allen-Blake vs. Abington Memorial Hospital", a critical x-ray of a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line placement allegedly was never read due to misdating.

The Allen-Blake case was settled 2/29/12 for $1.5 million, according to the public docket count 78 (link):

2/29/2012OrderOF 2/28/12 OTT, J PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF $1,500,000.00 APPROVED CC

That $1.5 million might have paid for a lot of other things, such as provision of better medical care through hiring/retention of more staff. The legal fees for defense incurred must also have been substantial, representing yet more precious healthcare capital down the proverbial drain.

Add cases like this to the "total cost of ownership" of health IT.

-- SS

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I look forward to the day when the HIT vendors are sued for providing defective devices.

They are not immune from lawsuit since their devices have not been approved by the FDA.