Friday, 23 September 2011

Swedish Computer System Crash; 50 000 lost medical records

A computer system crash in Region Skåne, Sweden have resulted in the loss of appointment and prescription records, but may have resulted in the loss of over 50 000 medical records.

The affected hard drives have been shipped to a Norwegian company to attempt to recover the information lost in the crash that occurred on August 22, 2011.  (Almost a month ago as of the publication of this post.)

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and the extent of the data loss is still unknown.
”We have never before lost so much information,” Mette Marklund, director of the National Board of Health and Welfare’s Southern Region, told DN. ”It can be a great risk to patient safety when we do not have access to adequate information. But, we do not know yet what to rebuild.”

Interestingly enough, Region Skåne is scheduled to launch a central medical record system for the entire nation in 2012.

Ed. Note:  I'm not certain how a health organization in a first world country could have started a project so large and so far reaching and not have given any thought to data backup or disaster recovery, especially when you consider the risk to human life that the loss of medical records might entail.