Patient treatment stopped due to faulty IT

A somewhat scary story out of Sweden. We want a facility’s IT department to routinely scan for viruses and security issues, but not in the middle of a procedure:

Doctors were forced to suspend treatment of a patient with a heart condition when the hospital’s IT department suddenly took control of a medical computer, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) reported on Friday.

The incident has prompted Skåne Regional Council (Region Skåne) to change its routines regarding computers for medical treatments.

In January 2009, a patient who had an irregular heartbeat was connected to a medical treatment computer with electrodes. During a discussion with the patient, the council’s IT department suddenly took over the computer by remote control without warning.

The computer was not labelled as a medical computer, but a council one. Medical-labelled computers cannot be taken over by remote control with (sic) prior approval from the user.

After an investigation, it was revealed that the computer had been replaced in the summer of 2008. The previous computer had been marked as a medical computer and despite protests, the new computer, which had administrative privileges from the council IT department, was designated as a council one.

Read more in The Local (Se).

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