New London, New Hampshire based doctor Anna Konopka, 84 years old, refused to practice what she calls “an electronic medicine.” The lady does not know how to use a computer, and so she handwrites her patient records and maintain them in file cabinets.
The 84-year-old native of Poland reasons that electronic medicine is for the system, not for the patients. She also says that the systems are is destroying the human relations between the doctor and its patient.
Konopka’s veto to keep electronic records, although, has played a part in a judge challenging her request to regain her license to practice, which she voluntarily gave up in October after the allegations of misconduct were brought against her according to the judge’s ruling.
On 15 November in his ruling, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge John Kissinger dissolved the case brought by Konopka to reclaim her license. Later Konopka said that she was forced to surrender her license and was threatened if she didn’t, it would be taken away.
It all started in October 2014 when a complaint was brought up to the New Hampshire Board of Medicine accusing her of improper prescribing practices in concern of a child patient, according to the state. After the investigation, the board rebuked Konopka’s license in May.
When Konopka agreed to the reprimand, the board’s subcommittee received additional complaints against her, according to the Kissinger’s ruling. He said that in the ruling the allegations surround her prescribing practices, record keeping, and medical decision making.
While Konopka denied her misconduct complaint and, signed a voluntary surrender of license in September, in which she gave her consent to give up her license on October 13, allowing her time to give scheduled and emergency treatment, according to the surrender.
Although in early October, Konopka petitioned an injunction from the court with a hope of continuing her practice, as she says that her surrender was under duress. But Kissinger said that Konopka failed to show that she was pressured to surrender the license.
Not giving up the fight
On November 22 Konopka filed a motion asking Kissinger to review and has filed an affidavit from 30 of her patients who are speaking on behalf her.
Until Kissinger doesn’t reverse his decision, Konopka can see the 20 to 25 patients every week who used to come to her practice, where she practices alone and charges just $50 from patients.For her low fees makes it pretty hard for her to afford a lawyer she told.
At the when she signed the surrender paper she was represented by a legal counsel. Barbara McKelvy is one of Konopka’s patients, told that she is trying to find a pro bono lawyer for Konopka.
Konopka proudly says that her patients prefer her practice in compared to big hospitals since they receive individual attention.
According to Konopka doctors at hospitals completely rely on computers rather than relying on them, instead of there for diagnoses, intellect, and guidelines while prescribing medications. She sees this as an expensive system and harmful to patients. The doctors don’t show much interest in keeping contact with their patients. Konopka seems to be in no mood of compromising patients health or life for the system, she trusts more on practicing her medical art.
Jill Beaudry, Konopka’s patients who wrote to the court, told CNN she is caring and passionate regarding her patients and doesn’t care much about the money. She sees Konopka as one of the best doctors she’s been to.
Beaudry says that her old doctors have their heads shoved into their computers. It doesn’t look personal to you nor they even looked at you.While Konopka is 100% focused, which she hates when the doctors are just stuck in computers.
Konopka is still waiting to hear from Kissinger, but she is also planning to use a computer for minimal tasks like staying up-to-date on whether she regains her license to practice. However, she will not give in to practicing “electronic medicine.”