Report: Sungai Buloh Hospital hit by IT breakdown

According to a report, the hospital has been hampered by limited data storage due to its outdated Windows XP operating system. — Screen grab from Google Street View
According to a report, the hospital has been hampered by limited data storage due to its outdated Windows XP operating system. — Screen grab from Google Street View

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — An IT system breakdown at the supposedly high-tech Sungai Buloh Hospital over the past few days has forced patients to reschedule their appointments.

The breakdown has also caused difficulty in tracing the medical and investigation records of some patients, The Star reported today, attributing the problem to the use of an unsupported old Windows XP operating system.

An unnamed source told the daily that the hospital’s main server has been down for quite some time.

“Since late Friday, the computer servers had been out of order, resulting in difficulty in accessing patients notes, investigation results, X-rays, MRIs and CT scans; making treatment and management of the sick very difficult,” said the unnamed source.

He then gave an example of an orthopaedic clinic patient who was told to reschedule his appointment. However, the patient told the medical staff that he had travelled a long distance and insisted on seeing a doctor.

The team accommodated him but was unable to gain access to his medical records.

Patients were forced to postpone their appointments and medical investigation records had to be tracked manually by calling the laboratories instead of having the data recorded in the computer system.

The Star also reported that the hospital made announcements on its PA system to inform patients of the situation and apologised for the inconvenience.

Patients were reportedly asked to seek care at other health facilities.

The Star said patients are being registered manually for now, but patient data cannot be updated yet.

An outpatient Hariff told The Star that he was informed of the system breakdown when he registered.

“Usually, when an appointment is made, I can easily walk in quite quickly but today I had to wait for 50 minutes,” he was quoted saying, adding that he understood the delay.

Another woman reportedly added that she had to wait for 30 minutes to get her medicine, but she found the waiting time to be fair despite the inconvenience.

The hospital’s director Dr Kuldip Kaur reportedly said that the hospital’s Total Hospital Information System has some “technical issues” but did not elaborate further.

“Currently we have limitation in terms of the number of users who can gain access to the system actively and our performance is affected,” she reportedly said with certain information such as patient diagnosis, appointment list, medication list, X-ray results and laboratory result still being accessible.

She reportedly claimed that the challenges facing the doctors was that they have to record patient data manually.

According to The Star, the hospital has been hampered by limited data storage due to its outdated Windows XP operating system.

Microsoft announced on its official website that it has stopped supporting Windows XP since April 8, 2014 and requested users to migrate to Windows 10 by purchasing a new device.

The anonymous source cited claimed that it has been a struggle for the hospital and there had been frequent server disruptions previously, but none that had lasted this long.

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