Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Medstar Health CEO basically admits EHRs are unnecessary after hackers take out its HIT

It's corporate spin, of course, but that's the plain meaning of what he says:
For a second day, the region’s second-largest health care system deals with a crippling computer virus. MedStar Health says it is making progress, but WJZ is learning some patients are still feeling the effects.

... Despite the challenges affecting MedStar Health’s IT systems, the quality and safety of our patients remains our highest priority, which has not waned throughout this experience. Fortunately, the core ways in which we deliver patient care cannot be altered, manipulated or harmed by malicious attempts to disrupt the services we provide [that is, by taking down the EHRs -ed.],” Stephen R.T. Evans, MD, executive vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, MedStar Health. “Our ability to serve our patients and their families depends first and foremost on our caregivers, and their expert knowledge and compassion focused on each patient.”

He likely does not realize just how correct his spin actually is.

-- SS

3/30/2016 Addendum:

This is not the first time for EHR outages at MedStar.

As in my May 16, 2015 post "Another day, another EHR outage: MEDSTAR EHR goes dark for days" at, I cited Politico. 

The doctor's observation I highlighted below is of interest.


MEDSTAR EHR GOES DARK FOR DAYS: MedStar’s outpatient clinics in the D.C. and Baltimore area lost access to their EHRs Monday and Tuesday when the GE Centricity EHR system crashed. The system went offline for scheduled maintenance on Friday and had come back on Monday when it suffered a “severe” malfunction, according to an email from Medstar management that was shared with Morning eHealth.

“All of a sudden the screens lit up with a giant text warning telling us to log off immediately,” a doctor said. “They kept saying it would be back up in an hour, but when I left work Tuesday night it was still down.”

This doctor told us that the outage was “disruptive and liberating at the same time. I wrote prescriptions on a pad for two days instead of clicking 13 times to send an e-script. And I got to talk to my patients much more than I usually do.

But of course we didn’t have access to any notes or medication history, and that was problematic.” MedStar notified clinicians in the email that any information entered in the EHR after Friday was lost.

-- SS

1 comment:

live IT or live with IT said...

"No patients were harmed" a new Internet meme.