Hospital Authority announces a computer system setting error event

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) spokesman today (December 18) announced a computer system setting error event.

     The HA Information Technology (IT) Department was informed by the Pathology Department of Princess Margaret Hospital on November 24 that some patients' laboratory test reports in the General Outpatient Clinic (GOPC) of the Kowloon West Cluster (KWC) did not list out all requested blood test results. The IT Department immediately conducted an investigation and discovered that a system setting error was made on November 18 during the re-grouping in ordering of blood tests as requested by the GOPCs, leading to the omission of the test for electrolytes in blood samples. The problem was rectified and fixed on November 25 and reports on the laboratory tests resumed as normal on November 26.

     The concerned clinical units are West Kowloon GOPC, Mrs Wu York Yu GOPC, and Lady Trench GOPC under KWC Family Medicine & Primary Health Care Department. The involved patients were prescribed with the routine annual blood tests prior to the scheduled follow-up consultation. According to standard practice, doctors will order the group of blood tests in the Laboratory Information System in accordance with the patient's clinical needs. They will explain to the patients the tests results and provide proper follow-up in the scheduled consultation session, and advance the consultation if deemed necessary.

     During the period concerned (November 18-25), there were 438 patients involved in this event according to the clinics' records. They have been followed up regularly by the concerned GOPCs on their chronic medical problems and are in stable condition. Upon notification of the system error, the three GOPCs, as a precautionary measure, immediately reviewed all concerned patients' records and identified 68 patients with the need to have another blood test. The GOPCs informed the affected patients and arranged blood tests for them. All blood tests have been completed and there were four patients (two male and two female, aged from 67 to 100) confirmed to have minor electrolyte disturbance. Appropriate follow-up has been arranged and all concerned patients are in stable condition.

     KWC Family Medicine & Primary Health Care Department apologises to the patients for any inconvenience caused due to this event, and will contact all involved patients to explain the incident. An enquiry hotline 2354 5141 has been set up for the concerned patients who received blood test at the three clinics during the period.

     The HA is very concerned about the event. The IT Department will continue to thoroughly investigate the event and has immediately enhanced the routine checking of relevant system settings to ensure that clinical department requests are met to facilitate timely patient care.

Ends/Thursday, December 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:49