Data from a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine raises red flags surrounding the practice of relying on proprietary algorithms to warn of dangerous conditions, particularly one used to detect sepsis, reports Wired.
A complication of infection known as sepsis is the number one killer in US hospitals. So it’s not surprising that more than 100 health systems use an early warning system offered by Epic Systems, the dominant provider of US electronic health records. The system throws up alerts based on a proprietary formula tirelessly watching for signs of the condition in a patient’s test results.
But a new study using data from nearly 30,000 patients in University of Michigan hospitals suggests Epic’s system performs poorly. The authors say it missed two-thirds of sepsis cases, rarely found cases medical staff did not notice, and frequently issued false alarms.
The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. An Epic spokesperson disputed the study’s conclusions, saying the company’s system has “helped clinicians save thousands of lives.”
Read more from Wired.