This is a good warning for hospitals everywhere. According to the story the hospital was short on IT people. As you can see this is a big hospital seeing 15,000 patients a day! Some records were still available. The article also states that the hospital stated that a lack of qualified employees to enter data is also an issue and the nurses can’t keep up with entering all the patient data. In a way this is amazing as we outsource Health IT information systems to India and their own citizens, at least in this hospital are not getting their records documented, much less add a computer virus to the entire mess. The casualty ward sees 500 patients a day just in that one section. Is is only our messed up US medical system the only avenue to make money I wonder? Not only that but the NHS is outsourcing to India, and again I question why they do not invest in their own systems in India to take care of their citizens? I’m sure there may be some citizens of India maybe thinking the same thing? It just doesn’t seem right in my opinion. In addition we see efforts like this portal. Patients in 16 countries, including India, the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. can use it and the the services are free. There is advertising on the site but not more than any normal website contains these days. Their services are for both patients and physicians and you need to register to begin to use any services other than the normal health care education items. Both telemedicine and teleradiology are both free, but there’s one big long page of all the disclaimers. So, I looked at the page and yes you can set up a health record account and upload images for a free interpretation. That item surprised me but again coming back to the hospital, why are they short on Health IT when such a large amount of outsourcing goes to India? BD
CHENNAI: The Government General Hospital has suffered a viral attack. A virus that entered the medical records section has wiped off voluminous medical records of the premier hospital that treats 15,000 patients a day. The only records available with the hospital that sees patients with cardiac, orthopedic, vascular and neurological problems, are the numbers of admissions, discharges and deaths. Insiders said five of the seven computers in the department have gone on the blink because of the virus. The remaining two do not have the appropriate software required to key in the data.The department has seven staff, who manually enter the deaths, admissions and discharges on a record book Lack of trained personnel to enter data increases the pressure on the existing seven staff to maintain records and puts the onus on nurses of the various departments to maintain proper records. To computerize the system, all departments in the hospital need to have computers with proper software installed in them and this is not feasible now, said Dr Anand Pratap, the resident medical officer. “We need software professionals to man the computers,” he said.