Liberals call for independent inquiry into medical records security

The State Liberals are demanding a full independent inquiry into allegations of tampering with patient medical records at the Lyell McEwin hospital.

This morning on ABC 891 radio Dr Paul Newbold, a radiologist at the Lyell McEwin, claimed a file note he had put on a patient’s medical record was tampered with:

 

Dr Newbold: but three days later it came to my attention that that report has been erased.  It’s like I never left home, never drove to the hospital, never put that report in the medical record system and that is very dangerous and very sinister.  It’s as though it never happened.

 

“This is an extremely serious allegation that needs to be subject to an independent investigation that is completely open and transparent,” said Liberal MLC Rob Lucas.

 

“The inquiry should assess the appropriateness of having a system in which medical records can be altered.

 

“Information provided to the State Liberals indicates the Health Minister Jack Snelling’s claim that this matter hadn’t been previously bought to the attention of the Chief Executive of Health SA David Swann is incorrect.”

 

Bevan: ... what I said – and it’s David asking you the question Minister – was has this been discussed at the highest level, that is the Chief Executive of Health SA?

 

Snelling: And the answer to that is no.  As I said the first time we became aware of this was yesterday ... when you got in contact with us with this information.

 

The Liberal Party has been informed that this issue was discussed at a meeting soon after the incident attended by Dr David Swan and a senior office from SAMI.

 

“On the information provided to the State Liberals it is essential that the investigation of this matter is independent of Health SA,” said Mr Lucas.

 

“Further the investigation must assess why hundreds of cases remained unread as a result of the introduction of the new system.”

 

Dr Newbold: A new software system came in and despite our concerns and warnings we were unable physically to keep up with the workload, so the unread cases, that is cases of X-rays, CTs, ultrasounds, MRs that were being done were not looked at, not interpreted, not reported on, so much so that by the end of three weeks into June there were instead of no cases unread there were 1900 that had been unread ... it was blowing out a hundred a day.