[tz] Epic fail for DST fallback in hospital health records

John Hawkinson jhawk at MIT.EDU
Sun Nov 4 06:33:37 UTC 2018

I'm not sure what to make of this (query: how many people a year does it have to kill to be an "epic fail"?), but in many ways this graf sticks out:

  Not all hospitals turn Epic off. At the Johns Hopkins Hospital in
  Baltimore, providers who need to check patients periodically through
  the night use a workaround: They enter vitals at 1 a.m. and then when
  the clock falls back an hour later and they have to enter new vitals,
  they list them at 1:01 a.m. They leave a note that it’s an hour later,
  not a minute later. That’s how the Cleveland Clinic does it, too.

This is confusing, since it suggests the problem is just about not entering multiple datasets at the same HH:MM, which is a little differnet from actual deletion (although also a bit more plausible); or maybe about elapsed time measurement. On the other hand, read strictly, it also implies not entering anything from 01:00:59 EDT through 01:59:59 EDT all the way through 01:01:00 EST; but that strict interpretation doesn't seem too likely.

Be afraid when drug delivery systems (e.g. IV pumps, etc.) decide they know what time it is and mess up dosages across time changes. Fortunately we're not there [yet]? I suppose since dosages are relatively continuous (so many millileters per second?) rather than coarsely discrete (1 bag per hour?), this sort of failure might be less likely. Maybe.

> The moral of this story seems to be: arrange for your medical
> emergencies to occur some time other than early Sunday in the US.

I dunno. A different takeaway might be that hospitals have scheduled an annual drill for computer downtime at a regular predictable time. I'm sure there are plenty of other times of the year when electronic systems go down, and that those failures happen with less predictability and at more inconvenient times then 2:00am in the morning on a Sunday in November.

So in a certain perverse way, it's nice to know they're forced to deal with it?

--jhawk at mit.edu
  John Hawkinson

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