Board: Nonsense Record OK


According to public documents the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) exonerated Overlake Hospital Psychiatrist Patrick Mathiasen after I reported this nonsense text found in his medical records:

“Reimers stressor by patient’s report is stressed he was undergoing at work.”

“He describes see suicide attempt by placing a prescription high around his neck is being quite impulses. His wife found the patient and cut these that time lose.”

“Works as a plumbing informant.”

MQAC justified discipline of another physician with poor records with this language:

“Another practitioner would have great difficulty reconstructing respondent’s notes to provide proper patient care.” That does not apply here? Really? I hope no physician would rely on such nonsense.

That was the good news.

The bad news: We have no way of knowing how many sensible appearing -- and thus even more dangerous -- errors these and other records contain. This vulnerability to potentially fatal errors stems directly from use of voice recognition, but can also occur with human transcription.

Does MQAC’s inaction reflect medical board hypocrisy, or did board member Dr. Robert Small, an executive for a major insurer, influence the board to save a contracted provider for Premera Blue Cross?

Regardless, MQAC’s failure to address this growing problem amounts to bureaucratic malpractice.


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