Tick a Box, Any Box: A Case Study on the Unintended Consequences of System Misuse in a Hospital Emergency Department

Tick a Box, Any Box: A Case Study on the Unintended Consequences of System Misuse in a Hospital Emergency Department

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

Long patient waiting periods and a high administrative load plagued the Emergency Department of a major Australian hospital. In response, the department installed a new information system. Technically, the new system worked perfectly. Yet, within 9 months the department suffered a catastrophic loss of patient revenue. The financial disaster led to senior doctors being forced to abandon their medical duties in order to correct complex administrative problems. It triggered a complete review of training, task and role prioritisation. This case study describes a major and costly error resulting from the use of the newly implemented hospital IS. It traces how the error came about, how the hospital responded and what hospitals could do when deploying new systems to prevent such errors. We examine hospitals as ...

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