15,000 Irish patients may face recall after medical scan mess-up 2 years ago

15,000 Irish patients may face recall after medical scan mess-up

As many as 15,000 Irish patients face the prospect of having medical scans redone after it emerged that a system glitch meant scan information had been stored incorrectly.

HSE director-general Tony O’Brien has said that Canadian IT company Change Healthcare installed the glitchy system and failed to make its customers aware of the problem despite knowing of its existence since early 2016.

While the company had issued a patch for the flaw in August of last year, the HSE failed to install it. According to the Irish Times, Mr. O'Brien's explanation for this was that the solution was “invisibly included” in the patch.

As result, thousands of Irish people may be recalled to their healthcare centres in a move which would prove expensive, as well as increasing wait times and decreasing healthcare availability across the country generally.

The Irish Times further reports that  21,131 scans that have been stored on the system since 2011 are affected, and of those roughly 15,000 could end up returning to hospital.

Mr. O'Brien laid the blame squarely at the feet of Change Healthcare, saying "If you haven’t told customers something is broken in the first place, you can’t tell them you’re fixing it."

“The release note for this August 2016 fix made no reference to an issue with characters or indeed that this could potentially have been a clinical issue."

"While the patch could have fixed the issue the company failed to, or chose not to, disclose this important information concerning potential clinical safety within the release note."