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If Computer failure, lack of in hospitals often have contingency plans

A Patient is in the hospital, a variety of devices to monitor his body functions. Register a threat, all signs point to a heart attack. But the audible Alarm of the monitoring monitor is to remain silent. This is due to a programming error. In the course of the Implant Files, the Recherchedesk Tamedia has analyzed thousands of warnings from medtech companies. It turned out that such events are not isolated cases.

From 2010 to the end of 2018 sent the manufacturer a 60 alerts to monitors at the Swiss hospitals. It comes to defects such as incorrect Display on the screens or system crashes of patient monitors. Most of the problems are not apparently audible alarms: The speakers do not work, or a device raises an Alarm, though it should be. Five products had to be recalled, and ten more to be repaired. In the remaining cases, a software correction or an Update was mostly necessary.

Big Chaos due to emergency

buttons, It'll be in Swiss hospitals is rare that a life is true important Alarm, and if it is, are intensely nourishing, on-the-spot, to be trained to recognize threatening situations, says Antje Heise of the Swiss society for intensive care medicine. Nevertheless, she sees a need for action: "The hospitals need to have emergency plans for possible fault and failure scenarios, which are known to all employees."

the importance of such plans would be revealed in the last new year's eve night, as in 400 Swiss hospitals and homes, the Chaos broke out. Due to a programming error, the emergency didn't work any more buttons. It is naive to believe that the programming error occurred, said at the time, Jürgen Holm, head of the Department of medical Informatics of the technical school of Bern. Sophisticated emergency response plans for institutions in the health area. In the event of a breakdown, they could not react otherwise appropriate. The case shows that on systems that leave the vulnerable, ruled Susanne Hochuli, President of the Foundation for patient protection. However, it is not financially, all susceptible systems double hedge.

Doctors and hospital technicians are often overwhelmed

it's Not always the companies fault if the equipment fails on the Station, or errors occur. So, a medical technology company recently reported by the surveillance monitors, the start again and again, because the hospital technician had it set wrong. Such messages are piling up. For the technician, will, it is becoming increasingly difficult, the rising number of networked devices to be coordinated, says Hardy Müller, an expert on patient safety. Hospitals mangle it not only IT expertise, but also an awareness of the risks of the new technology. "The pressure in the direction of digitization in the healthcare system is enormous. Us time, us on all the issues that brings." Not only technicians, but also nurses and Doctors are often overwhelmed. You would have to learn under high time pressure, how to use a new Monitor.

Hardy Müller is a member of a working group, which deals on behalf of patient welfare organisations from Switzerland, Germany and Austria with the risks of digitalization in the healthcare sector. In a "recommendation" urges the group of hospitals to develop contingency plans to put more resources in the hospital Informatics and nurses and Doctors in dealing with new devices, in addition to schools.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 30.04.2019, 06:18 PM

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