A Northern Ireland hospital has confirmed that its patient administration system went down for two days last week.
Western health and social care trust, which runs the NHS Altnagelvin Area Hospital, said “a combination of hardware and software problems” had brought the system down. The hospital runs a Clinicom patient administration system from iSoft on an HP server.
“This had an impact on the booking of patients for future outpatient appointments, but had no effect on those patients attending for inpatient and outpatient treatment on the affected days,” the trust said.
“Availability of clinical records for patient treatment and consultation remained unaffected by the computer problems.”
But an iSoft spokesperson denied the crash had been caused by a software problem. “It was a hardware problem, which was reported to HP. They came and fixed it,” he said.
Clinicom is one of the systems provided to NHS hospitals in England under an enterprise-wide arrangement negotiated with iSoft by NHS Connecting for Health that falls outside the £12.4bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT).
But iSoft is a crucial supplier in three out of five NPfIT regions where CSC is the lead contractor – the troubled software firm is contracted to supply its Lorenzo care records system as a core part of NPfIT but delivery is already running more than two years late.
German firm CompuGroup is set to buy iSoft in a £160m deal that will see CSC acquire the parts of the software company producing Lorenzo for the NHS.
Ministers recently revealed that an NHS team was put on standby to take charge of iSoft as the company became embroiled in increasing turmoil over its future.