British Columbia doctors rebel against electronic records system

Newswire: May 13, 2017.

Dateline: Nainamo, B.C., Canada

Nine doctors at a British Columbia hospital have refused to use their hospital’s $127 million electronic records system for ordering medication, saying it puts patients at risk.

In reply, Island Health, the administrator of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, will no longer accept paper orders and has directed the physicians to comply.

Nanaimo is a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

The protesting doctors are in internal medicine, and they quit using the system at the end of April. The doctors say that some medication and test orders disappeared in the system, and some dosages even changed, potentially endangering patients. The doctors returned to handwritten orders.

Island Health asked other physicians to enter these handwritten orders into iHealth, but the Island Health CEO said that must end. Doing so introduces the possibility of errors and miscommunication, creating a liability problem for the hospital.

A doctor who quit using iHealth said he and his colleagues hoped to get Island Health to quit using iHealth altogether in order for it to be redesigned.

The doctor, David Forrest, said Island Health’s refusal to accept written orders is, in effect “suspending my ability to practice (medicine) without actually suspending me.” Forrest is also president of the Nanaimo Medical Staff Association.

Read the full story here.