Former patient claims Kentucky hospital tampered with her medical records

A former patient is suing Flemingsburg, Ky.-based Fleming County Hospital, claiming it missed signs of her cancer and then edited her electronic medical records and deleted evidence that falsely claimed she was cancer-free, according to a recent NBC News report. 

Seven details: 

1. In 2015, Kim Johnson, then 53 years old, had a radiology scan done at Fleming County Hospital to check if she had breast cancer. The scan came back with "no evidence of cancer." 

2. Ten months later, Ms. Johnson was still experiencing breast pain and sought a second opinion, which determined that she did have breast cancer, the early signs of which were in the initial X-rays of her breast done at Fleming County Hospital. 

3. Ms. Johnson filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Fleming in 2016.She said she wanted to know why her cancer hadn't been detected by the hospital earlier. Three years later, her lawyers and a digital forensics expert who reviewed her electronic health records pieced together the situation and accused two Fleming hospital employees of opening her EHR, editing the records and deleting evidence of an erroneous letter claiming that she was cancer-free. 

4. The lawsuit claims that Fleming then created fake letters and produced them as part of the court case to make it look like it directed Ms. Johnson to seek more testing. Her physician from the hospital testified that the letters showed Ms. Johnson was to blame for her own delay in treatment, according to the report. 

5. A spokesperson for LifePoint Health, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based hospital chain that purchased Fleming seven months after Ms. Johnson's mammogram in 2015, declined NBC's request for comment because her lawsuit is still pending before the Kentucky Supreme Court. 

6. The hospital's lawyers have dismissed Ms. Johnson's allegations in legal filings and during court hearings as a "conspiracy theory," that cannot be proven because the hospital's EHR for mammograms at the time of her scan is now defunct and was prone to glitches. 

7. Fleming acknowledged one discrepancy in Ms. Johnson's records but attributed it as the result of a "clerical error" by an employee who'd gotten Ms. Johnson confused with another patient who has the same last name, according to the report. 

Click here to view the full report. 

More articles on EHRs: 
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