An Illinois medical malpractice wrongful death jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $9.1 million on October 26, 2021, finding that the former owner of Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Illinois (called Advocate BroMenn Medical Center at the time of the incident) was negligent in its electronic medical records software by failing to use an available feature that notes when a change is made to a diagnostic imaging report. As a result, an addendum to an original report describing a hypodensity on the decedent’s pancreas never made it to the decedent’s physician.
In April 2014, a radiologist employed by Bloomington Radiology initially interpreted a report of the decedent’s pancreas as “unremarkable.” Less than one month later, new findings indicated a hypodensity on her pancreas and an MRI was suggested in an addendum to the original imaging report. However, the addendum was not provided to the decedent’s physician because of a shortcoming in the hospital’s software. Two years later, the decedent was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The malignant tumors had metastasized to her lungs by 2017. She died in 2019.
The plaintiff’s Illinois medical malpractice attorney stated, “Advocate BroMenn Medical Center did not “turn on a feature (within its medical records software) whereby edited/changed diagnostic imaging reports were properly forwarded to the ordering or primary care physician. We have in writing that Advocate told the (software) vendor, ‘We don’t want to do that.” The vendor kept notifying them that a lot of their hospitals wanted to do the update.”
In addition to the software glitch, the plaintiff alleged that the hospital negligently failed to have proper policies and procedures in place to notify the appropriate persons regarding addenda or changes to imaging reports. Nonetheless, the hospital blames its software vendor for the deficiency: “This unfortunate situation was the result of a technical issue by a third-party vendor that has since been resolved. Out of respect for privacy, we are unable to comment further.” However, the plaintiff’s lawyer alleges that the issue was ongoing from 2009 to 2016, and the hospital never went back into its records to insure that no other patient was affected: “If you have made a mistake that ends up killing somebody, you have to make sure that mistake hasn’t hurt other patients. I guarantee there are other Linda Smith’s in this community.”
Carle states on its website: “Radiology services in the Carle health system feature the most advanced technology. This enables safe, quick, and accurate imaging tests that help your care team develop the best treatment plan for you and with you. Using digital imaging, our team of board-certified radiologists can quickly and accurately review your scans. To allow you the flexibility of selecting a convenient Carle location, we upload digital images quickly to our electronic medical record system for your care team to access within 24 hours, which means your provider can access the images and results within 24 hours.”
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in Illinois or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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