A former chief nursing officer (CNO) at California-based Sonoma West Medical Center has filed a lawsuit alleging she was illegally forced out of her position after she raised concerns about the hospital’s electronic medical records (EMR) system, according a report in The Press Democrat.
Autumn AndRa, R.N., had her CNO position at the hospital when she approached the organization’s CEO Ray Hino and told him that the EMR, branded Harmoni, was unsafe, according to the report. Specifically, according to the lawsuit, “the electronic medical records system ‘intermingled’ patients’ records and information, had problems tracking and updating patient medications, and did not display ‘code status’ information, which is used to inform doctors of medical interventions desired by patients in the event they stop breathing or experience cardiac arrest, according to the report. “The charts were intermingling,” AndRa said. “Mr. Jones’ drugs would pop over to Mrs. Smith’s chart,” she said, per The Press Democrat story.
The lawsuit, filed June 1, names both the medical center and millionaire software developer Dan Smith as defendants, states that Autumn AndRa was fired in response to complaints she raised about Smith’s Harmoni software. AndRa was allegedly terminated on April 14, about a week after she approached Hino.
Hino, in response, said that Smith’s electronic records system posed no danger to patients and that there has never been an instance where a patient was harmed because of software defects. Hospital officials and Smith both declined to comment on the lawsuit because it was “pending litigation,” according to the report.
What’s more, the suit alleges that Smith, through millions of dollars in donations and loans, has used the medical center as a guinea pig for a defective electronic medical records system developed by his company. AndRa said that from day one, the EMR system had been riddled with problems that frustrated and worried her and other hospital staff. She said that problems arose even after state inspectors signed off on the system prior to the hospital’s opening last fall, according to the report.