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National Expert: Nurse Talk’s Electronic Medical Record Segment A Ray of Sunshine.

Dr. Scot Silverstein
Dr. Scot Silverstein

Nurse Talk’s recent segment with RNs DeAnn McEwen and Michelle Mahon on the problems with electronic medical record implementation caught the ear of Dr. Scot Silverstein, a medical Informatics professional via NIH-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship. Scot’s expertise is in clinical IT design, implementation, refinement to meet clinician needs, and remediation of HIT projects in difficulty in both hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry. He is an independent expert witness on health IT-related medical malpractice and related issues is also unfortunately a substitute plaintiff in an EHR-harms case.

Silverstein calls Nurse Talk’s coverage a ray of “sunshine” and says, “perversity regarding health IT needs sunlight – lots of it.” Dr. Silverstein knows what he’s talking about.

According to a June 25, 2013 Bloomberg News article “Digital Health Records’ Risks Emerge as Deaths Blamed on Systems” by technology reporter Jordan Robertson (

“When Scot Silverstein’s 84-year-old mother, Betty, starting mixing up her words, he worried she was having a stroke. So he rushed her to Abington Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania. After she was admitted, Silverstein, who is a doctor, looked at his mother’s electronic health records, which are designed to make medical care safer by providing more information on patients than paper files do. He saw that Sotalol, which controls rapid heartbeats, was correctly listed as one of her medications.

Days later, when her heart condition flared up, he re-examined her records and was stunned to see that the drug was no longer listed, he said. His mom later suffered clotting, hemorrhaged and required emergency brain surgery. She died in 2011. Silverstein blames her death on problems with the hospital’s electronic medical records.”

“I had the indignity of watching them put her in a body bag and put her in a hearse in my driveway,” said Silverstein, who has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit. “If paper records had been in place, unless someone had been using disappearing ink, this would not have happened.”

Nurse Talk guest, RN DeAnn McEwen responds, “Thanks “NurseTalk” Pattie! Way to go Casey and Shane! These EHR systems are no laughing matter; nurses have a duty to protect their patients. We will look forward to the opportunity to take you up on your generous offer  and revisit this issue on a regular basis. Without a “free press” there is no democracy. Together we will hold the manufacturers of these systems accountable.

Listen to Nurse Talk for more on this important topic.

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