Impassable EMR Alert Demands Flu Shot For Deceased Patient

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A best practice alert, recently programmed by a highly competent collaboration between non-clinical quality and IT personnel, popped up today when Beth, RN was trying to write a quick note about post-mortem care on her recently deceased patient.

“Patient does not have documentation of a flu shot,” read the alert. The options to bypass the alert were to administer the vaccine or give a reason for the vaccine not being given: “crazy anti-vaxxer” or “contraindicated.” Wanting to quickly get back to her sick patient who was still alive, Beth
decided that being dead was a good contraindication and chose that option.

A new alert appeared: “Patient has no contraindications documented. Admitting provider must add addendum to history and physical that says this exact phrase including the misspelling “they got contradictions to the flu shot.” Any deviation of this phrase or documentation of this
phrase by any provider besides the admitting provider is a contraindication to the patient having contraindications.”

“Nope! no time for that” thought Beth as she quickly switched over and clicked “crazy anti-vaxxer.” “If the patient can’t consent because they are dead they technically refused!” she chuckled to herself, naively thinking that she may soon be able to get back to her living patient whose oxygen sensor is now beeping.

A new alert popped up: “Upload 30 minute video that shows vaccine education session with the patient including
their clear verbalization of a refusal in fluent English. Use Ken Burn effect.”

Now Beth’s living patient’s ventilator began to alarm. She could not review their chart until this alert was addressed. Beth grabbed the vaccine, scanned it and the deceased patient’s wristband, and injected the vaccine into their lifeless body. Only then was she able to bypass the alert, review her other patient’s chart, and deliver life-saving care.

At press time the chief quality officer was
seen laughing maniacally in the morgue as they administered flu shots and delivered rousing smoking cessation education to the sea of bodies.

Beth could not be reached for comment because she was being called into risk management to explain why she was spotted
creepily injecting substances into a deceased patient’s body.

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    MPH (Master of Perpetual Hopelessness), RN, and Infection Preventionist. Delights in the fear generated by her arrival onto the unit, sending panicked staff scurrying to alcohol gel dispensers like cockroaches caught in the disinfecting light of her merciless scrutiny. Send hand hygiene compliance confessions to: [email protected]

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