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Friday, January 16, 2009

Reports of potentially serious error in VA's computerized health records

The electronic medical record system at the VA system has for the most part received very high marks from various observers and users. However, problems with that system have recently hit the news after this report by a congressional committee.

Systems have problems and that should be no surprise but two particularly troublesome aspects have also come to light. One, there is the suggestion that this problem may have been keep secret (i.e. were not disclosed to the patients involved) and two the comments of a VA spokesman suggest that the patient should help the staff keep up with the treatment, etc. He is quoted as saying:

"VA believes that veterans are active partners in their health care, and encourages patients to always follow up with their health care teams to ensure that their treatment options meet their understanding and their health care needs."

Next time you are in the hospital semi- delirious with sepsis or a stroke be sure that dose of heparin or antibiotic is correct and conforms with what your physician ordered and that your needs are being meet.

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