Nurses Want Probe into EMR Failure

Erinn McCann | Healthcare IT News | March 10, 2015

Nurses at a California hospital are asking state officials to investigate the failure of the hospital's electronic medical record system, an incident they said led to the closure of its emergency room and compromised patient safety. The EMR system at the 420-bed Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California, reportedly failed last weekend, resulting in clinicians unable to review patient labs, verify physician orders and access patient records, according to the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses United union.

"Our entire electronic and data system failed," Feb. 27 wrote Antelope Valley's Maria Altamirano, RN, on behalf of California Nurses Association, in a letter to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Due to the failure, the hospital, Altamirano explained, had to close its emergency department because it failed to have adequate backup plans in place.

"How many hospitals are compromising the lives of their patients by not having a back up or plan of action in place for a catastrophic event as this?" she asked. The hospital's pharmacy system and its backup also crashed, according to an emailed statement from a CNA spokesperson...