At Fortune, we believe in the power of technology to make the world a better place. But we also know that the best-intended technology can sometimes turn sour. That appears to be the case with electronic health records—a government-financed innovation that was supposed to improve health care, empower patients, and reduce costs. Instead, all too often, it is harming people, sometimes even killing them.
A months-long investigation by Fortune, in partnership with Kaiser Health News, found that the decade-long U.S. electronic health records effort—built with $36 billion in taxpayer dollars—created a clumsy and buggy patchwork of software that has caused untold hours of extra work for healthcare professionals and provided uncertain benefits for patients. Instead of streamlining the medical system, it has created a host of new, and largely unacknowledged, health risks. Our investigation documents alarming reports of patient deaths, serious injuries, and near misses—thousands of them—tied to software glitches, user errors, or other flaws.
No one would advocate returning to the world of a decade ago, when critical health records were scribbled illegibly by doctors and locked away in filing cabinets, inaccessible to an emergency room doctor in a patient’s moment of greatest need. But the story of electronic health records should serve as a cautionary tale for the era of big data. Even the most promising applications, if poorly designed and overburdened by regulatory requirements, can turn to disaster. You can read the full report here.
Separately, JPMorgan this morning will announce plans to give $350 million over five years to support global workforce training programs. CEO Jamie Dimon said the program will focus on removing “the stigma of a community college and career education” and support “opportunities to upskill or reskill workers.” As we’ve written before in this space, training for the future of work is one of the great challenges facing our generation. Good to see more businesses stepping up to address it.
More news below. I’ll be off the rest of the week, vacationing with family. David Meyer will be filling in here.
The Seattle Times asked Boeing and the FAA about crucial flaws in the safety analysis that Boeing had provided the regulator for its new 737 MAX, including a massive understatement of the power of the plane’s new flight control system—before the Ethiopian Airlines crash that bore a striking resemblance to the Lion Air crash that was due to that system. Experts told the paper it was inappropriate for the FAA to delegate so much safety certification to the companies it regulates. Now the Transportation Department is investigating. Seattle Times
Worldpay is being bought for the second time in two years. The digital payments platform, which was spun out of Royal Bank of Scotland during the financial crisis, was bought last year January for $10.4 billion by Vantiv, which changed its name to Worldpay. Now FIS intends to buy Worldpay for $43 billion, in order to boost scale. Financial Times
Lyft will at IPO reportedly seek a valuation between $21 billion and $23 billion, or between $62 and $68 a share. The figure is preliminary, but not long to wait now—the flotation should happen late next week. Wall Street Journal
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her government will unveil new gun laws within days, in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre on Friday. The killer used a semi-automatic rifle, which under New Zealand laws are supposed to be limited to seven shots, with a large magazine round. Ardern apparently wants a full ban on automatic weapons. Reuters
Around the Water Cooler
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are finally to hold official merger talks. The German government is keen on the deal, in order to create a national banking champion, and there are cost efficiencies to be made by closing branches. But combining two struggling banks will not necessarily create a successful bank. Unions also aren’t keen on the cuts that would be involved. BBC
President Trump has demanded that GM sell an idling Ohio plant “or do something” in order to get the factory working again. The president also placed blame on a Democrat union leader for the plant’s closed nature. GM says it is placing more than 1,000 employees from its “unallocated” plants in roles at other factories. Bloomberg
The Kremlin-affiliated metals oligarch Oleg Deripaska is suing the U.S. over the sanctions that were placed on him last year. “The legal system in the U.S. may be the last resort where people could assess the facts and to see, you know, what justice will be,” he said, while denying that the Russian government encouraged him to launch the suit. CNBC
Cyclone Idai has been ravaging the east of Southern Africa, and has claimed at least 145 lives so far. An editorial in Zimbabwe’s Herald warns that the catastrophe was a result of climate change, and argues for climate change policy to be tied to development policy. Herald