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​eClinicalWorks Responds To $155 Million Settlement That Rocked The Healthcare IT Industry

Electronic medical records vendor responds to allegations that its software had life-threatening flaws and was unequipped to pass government certification.
Posted on Aug 17, 2018 | 05:00pm
In 2010, Brendan Delaney started working at the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, implementing a new electronic medical records software developed by eClinicalWorks.

He immediately saw a series of problems: multiple patients listed on the same medical record, mis-prescribed medication, and lab orders that were never processed.

He feared these flaws could be fatal, so he blew the whistle. His premonition would soon become reality. 47-year-old Annette Monachelli died in Vermont after failing to receive a critical brain scan in time, possibly because of a software glitch. 

CBS reached out to the company for a comment and it provided the following statement.

eClinicalWorks statement:

"eClinicalWorks (eCW) fully cooperated with the Department of Justice's civil investigation, denied any wrongdoing, and there was no admission or determination of liability. Under the terms of the settlement, eCW agreed to bolster its compliance program related to the development, operation and maintenance of its software.

With respect to eCW's involvement in the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) for the City of New York, a number of nationally recognized organizations have researched and reported the positive impact eClinicalWorks' EHR software had on the health of New Yorkers, including inmates at Rikers Island."

In July 2018, eClinicalWorks was fined $132,500 by the Office of Inspector General for failing to report patient safety issues in a specific timeframe, thus violating the Corporate Integrity Agreement established with the Department of Justice as part of their 2017 settlement:

eClinicalWorks statement regarding OIG fine:

"eClinicalWorks has invested heavily in technological innovations, personnel, and systems to enhance patient safety, usability of our software and compliance. The company has had a patient safety task force in place since before its agreement with the OIG and has been publishing patient safety notifications to the eClinicalWorks customer portal.

Under our Corporate Integrity Agreement, certain events must be reported to the OIG. We have consistently sought to do so in a complete and timely way including by reporting events to customers on our portal. The OIG determined that certain reports were not provided to it in a timely manner and assessed this penalty.

We have paid the penalty and enhanced our processes to ensure timely reporting going forward."

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