Another Instructive Hospital EMR Failure

Anne Zieger | Hospital EMR and EHR | January 30, 2012

According to a news source quoted by the blog, insiders at UCSF were very unhappy with GE’s performance, suggesting that the giant vendor was far behind schedule in writing code. At the time news reports were published, bigwigs at UCSF said they were evaluating their options and planned to plunge ahead in a few months.

If the news report was correct, this was more a vendor failure than an institutional problem. So what went wrong? The blog suggests that vendors like GE fail because they put management information systems grads in charge of projects, rather than those with deep medical informatics knowledge.

That being said, I find it difficult to believe that UCSF’s execs had no role in the failure. If its leaders had already committed to a $50M project, they clearly didn’t predict that GE wouldn’t be able to deliver. What’s more, my feeling is that they could have halted the project before it became a massive financial loss. And worst of all, C-suite leaders almost certainly ignored negative staff feedback, which has to have been flowing long before the project hit the wall. (OK, that’s a SWAG, but isn’t it likely?)