Data loss prompts external review at Capital and Coast Health

'Administrative database' actually held critical patient information

Capital and Coast Health has commissioned an external critique of its processes in the wake of a dialysis patient having to be resuscitated last September when critical patient information on a database was lost.

Five days of clinical data was lost after corrupted files had to be backed up.

CIO Andre Snoxall says the patient information database had been written years ago by a user, in Access 97, and was no longer supported.

“We thought it was an administrative database rather than critical information. There was just one person in the renal department supporting it, and if they went on holiday there was no support.”

The district health board is moving from eight operating systems to a unified operating system environment run under Citrix.

Snoxall says the rollout is designed to identify problems such as those that occurred. “However, this was achieved in a dangerous way.”

He says all the issues have been process-related around the rollout and he is now “pretty satisfied” that 95% have been covered off.

“We’ve found some big issues, and they’ve been dealt with well.

“However, I’ve asked for an independent peer critique around all the processes.”

Snoxall confirms that Capital and Coast Health is looking at replacing its eight-year-old SMA Allegra patient management system with one from IBA, and buying Orion for clinicals.

He says he has evaluated all the products on the market but that it makes some sense to go with IBA because partner health boards Hawkes Bay, Hutt Valley and Taranaki use the software.

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