Florida Board Member Recommends Statewide Warning on EMR Errors

Here’s an interesting story from Florida:

A Florida Board of Medicine member wants the board to issue a statewide warning about EMRs, following an incident in which an OB-GYN missed an abnormal Pap smear and blamed the EMR. The OB-GYN punished the EMR by replacing it, while the Board of Medicine punished the OB-GYN with a $20,000 fine, a risk management review, and 100 hours of community service. The board member, a dermatologist, said “”I think the Department of Health needs to put out a warning to physicians that they need to look at their programs’ default settings. This year we have seen as many if not more medical records violations from electronic medical records as we saw from hand-written records violations.”

I’m not sure what benefit the Department of Health issuing a warning would do. I know I’ve never personally seen a warning from the health department (outside of the major news ones). One thing is clear to everyone involved with EMR or not. EMR isn’t the secret potion with no issues. Doctors are still accountable for the care.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Margalit Gur-Arie had a great post recently (both at her blog and on The Health Care Blog) titled “Do EHRs Kill People?” addressing this type of situation. I’d say a full-blown Health Department warning is overblown int he specific case you sighted; it looks like a case where someone simply needed to pay attention to training and/or read through the manual to make the tool work for him.

  • In my opinion, the system was setup improperly and not tested at the site. It should be a must that extreme cases are tested at each installation site to prevent similar cases like mentioned in the article.

  • Hi,

    EMRs/EHR are the support tools for the evidence based documentation and for physician knowlege base, not for the automatic treatment/care/diagnosis/physical exam for the patient. It is totally a humen error not the technologies.

    Before sign off with EMR application vendor, all the clinical flow and Physical Exam template building and sub components which was provided by them has to be reviewed, tested and authonticated, because the templates[HPI, ROS, Exam] will be custom based but as per E&M guidelines[it doesn’t mean the complete physician documentation is captured]

  • I still don’t see what a warning would actually accomplish. Sadly, the lawyers are probably licking their chops and are setting up to chase ambulances.

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