HSE checking how many patients need tests redone after tech mistake

The HSE says it is working to establish how many patients may need to have their medical tests redone after a major flaw was identified in its computer systems.

Following the discovery of faulty computer software last week an investigation has begun concerning up to 25,000 X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds taken since 2011.

Some patients may have received unnecessary treatment as a result of incorrect information on the HSE’s computer system for storing scans.

In a statement, the HSE say it had identified an issue involving imaging examinations reports, which are generated as part of the National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS).

HSE said:

“The issue identified is in relation to the ‘less than’ symbol (<) being recorded in the examination report on the PACs [picture archiving communication system] component.

“Where the (<) symbol is used on a report and when that report is viewed electronically within the PACS, the symbol has been omitted and is not visible.”

The HSE also say the majority of reports are either viewed on paper or electronically within the NIMIS or Radiology Information System – neither of which are affected by the symbol issue.

Reports sent electronically to GP practices are also not affected.

The HSE said all hospitals and radiology departments operating the NIMIS have been notified.