EHR vendor eClinicalWorks sued for nearly $1B over allegedly inaccurate medical information

The administrator of the estate of a deceased cancer patient is suing EHR vendor eClinicalWorks for alleged gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, according to a Nov. 14 class-action complaint obtained by Becker's Hospital Review.

The complaint follows the vendor's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in May, in which eClinicalWorks — and some of its executives and employees — agreed to pay $155 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act. The government alleged eClinicalWorks withheld information from its certifying entity, such as how its software reportedly wasn't able to meet criteria related to standardized drug codes.

Kristina Tot, as administrator of the estate of the deceased Stjepan Tot, filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York. Mr. Tot, who died from cancer, experienced issues with the software prior to his death, according to the complaint. "He was unable to determine reliably when his first symptoms of cancer appeared … his medical records failed to accurately display his medical history on progress notes," the complaint reads.

The complaint alleged eClinicalWorks failed to "provide, secure and safeguard accurate and reliable health information" of patients and falsely obtained certification for its EHR software. The EHR allegedly displayed incorrect medical information in certain chart panels and did not accurately record user actions in audit logs. The plaintiff claims that as a result, eClinicalWorks compromised the medical records of millions of patients, which patients and physicians can no longer rely upon.

The complaint requested the court certify the case as a class action and award punitive damages to the plaintiff and class members, including "all persons residing in the United States whose physicians used ECW to record and store their medical records at all dates relevant." The lawsuit seeks $999 million in damages, according to a cover sheet filed with the complaint and obtained by Becker's Hospital Review.

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to eClinicalWorks for comment and will update as more information becomes available.

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