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Cases & Commentaries
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Robert E. O'Connor, MD, MPH; March 2018
Emergency medical service (EMS) providers obtained an electrocardiogram (ECG) in a woman who had developed severe chest pressure at home. The ECG revealed an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Unfortunately, the ECG failed to transmit to the emergency department (ED) while EMS was en route, so a "Code STEMI" was not activated. Unaware of the original ECG results, ED clinicians obtained a repeat ECG that did not demonstrate the earlier ST segment elevations, and the patient was admitted to the telemetry unit for monitoring overnight. The next morning, lab results revealed an elevated troponin level and another ECG demonstrated she had a large heart attack the previous day. Although the patient was rushed to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, the delay in treatment led to significant loss of cardiac function.
Journal Article > Commentary
Upadhyay DK, Sittig DF, Singh H. Diagnosis (Berl). 2014;1:283.
Misdiagnosis and errors linked to electronic health records (EHRs) are common concerns in patient safety. This commentary examines these elements in the context of the first Ebola case in the United States to reveal weaknesses in emergency department care, disaster management, and diagnostic processes. The case analysis highlights challenges associated with forming diagnoses and the usability of EHRs as decision support tools.