An Expensive Healthcare Computing Mistake: $1.5 Million

At my June 2011 post "Babies' deaths spotlight safety risks linked to computerized systems" I reported on a case (case #2) of an infant death in part attributed to HIT (PACS) interference in otherwise simple care processes.

In "Allen-Blake vs. Abington Memorial Hospital", a critical x-ray of a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line placement allegedly was never read due to misdating.

The Allen-Blake case was settled 2/29/12 for $1.5 million, according to the public docket count 78 (link):

2/29/2012OrderOF 2/28/12 OTT, J PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF $1,500,000.00 APPROVED CC

That $1.5 million might have paid for a lot of other things, such as provision of better medical care through hiring/retention of more staff. The legal fees for defense incurred must also have been substantial, representing yet more precious healthcare capital down the proverbial drain.

Add cases like this to the "total cost of ownership" of health IT.

-- SS