Lack of Computer Skills Leads Physician to License Forfeiture

Courtney Clay | 11.8.17

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A physician faces the loss of her license and practice due to an inability to keep electronic records. The New Hampshire doctor is an 84 year old immigrant from Poland running a small practice in New London, NH, without a computer, an administrative assistant, or even a nurse. The medical board received 5 complaints about Dr. Konopka and was moving forward with hearings when Dr. Konopka claims she was forced to give up her license. The way Dr. Konopka sees it, she’s doing a service to those in her community who might not be able to find help elsewhere. Many of her supporters say that she’s provided alternatives to big hospitals, inattentive doctors, over-medicated conditions, and an inability to afford health insurance. Seeing anyone who can offer $50, Dr. Konopka has been keeping all records of visits, medical conditions, and prescriptions by hand.

The issues that the state medical board sees are ones of record keeping, prescribing practices, and medical decision making. Without a computer, Dr. Konopka is unable to record or locate prescriptions in a state wide mandatory prescription drug monitoring database. These types of databases are becoming common in states across the country, and act as a way to track patient’s opioid prescriptions to reduce overdoses and abuse. The fate of Dr. Konopka’s practice is still unknown, but the assistant attorney general says that she would need to file for reconsideration from the medical board to get her license back. For more information, please see Michael Casey’s article on ABC News.

Technology and computers play an integral role in the delivery of health care and the upkeep of patient medical records. If you have any questions on medical board requirements, license forfeiture, or prescription drug monitoring, please contact Courtney Clay at cclay@byrdadatto.com or Brad Adatto at badatto@byrdadatto.com.