eClinicalWorks whistleblower: NYC health department was indifferent to EHR flaws

Misplaced records, medication module errors, flawed lab results tracking and security issues should have been taken more seriously, Brendan Delaney says.
By Bill Siwicki
08:57 PM
eClinicalWorks whistleblower: NYC health department was indifferent to EHR flaws

The whistleblower responsible for a landmark $155 million DOJ settlement with EHR vendor eClinicalWorks over claims it gave customers kickbacks and faked meaningful use certification has broken his silence about what prompted him to sound the alarms.

Brendan Delaney was a New York City government employee implementing the eClinicalWorks EHR system at Rikers Island for prisoner healthcare. There he first became aware of numerous software problems that he alleged put patients at risk.

While the ongoing case was under seal until the settlement, now Delaney wants to be very clear about his feelings on the matter.

[Also: eClinicalWorks to pay $155 million to settle suit alleging it faked meaningful use certification]

“I was profoundly saddened and disappointed by the indifference of senior health department officials and investigators for New York City when I provided detailed information about serious flaws in the EHR software that could endanger patients,” Delaney said. 

This is a ground-breaking case, according to Colette G. Matzzie, a whistleblower attorney and partner at Phillips & Cohen, the firm that represented Delaney. 

“It is the first time that the government has held an electronic health records vendor accountable for failing to meet federal standards designed to ensure patient safety and quality patient care,” Matzzie added.

[Also: DOJ settlement hits eClinicalWorks where it hurts]

Delaney took issue with a range or problems in the eClinicalWorks software, notably it including one patient’s record within another patient’s record, medication module errors, tracking lab results incorrectly and security issues. 

“Brendan Delaney provided the government with information about eClinicalWorks software that became central aspects of the government’s case,” said Larry Zoglin, a whistleblower attorney at Phillips & Cohen. “He worked tirelessly to document and track the EHR problems, often working until late at night, after a full day at his job. He felt a responsibility to the community at large to get the problems fixed.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
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