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Helsinki hospitals hit by 2nd day of computer problems

The Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) is dealing with computer problems affecting access to its patient records system. The hospital said that some disruptions were still being reported Wednesday afternoon, despite a reboot of the system earlier in the day.

HUS:n Meilahden tornisairaala Helsingissä
HUS Meilahti Tower Hospital in Helsinki. Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

The Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District's (HUS) chief physician Markku Mäkijärvi said that the hospital experienced new computer system problems which affected access to patient records on Wednesday.

Mäkijärvi said the hospital's patient records system were working very slowly or not at all when staff tried to look up or update patient information.

Following a restart of the hospital's computer servers Wednesday afternoon, the patient data system was nearly back to normal, if somewhat slow, the hospital announced in a statement early Wednesday evening.

The hospital said that some disruptions to the system were continuing and are being investigated. The hospital said the computer systems at its HUSLAB laboratory and the Medical Imaging Centre are functioning properly.

Delays possible Thursday

The computer system will be monitored overnight and then tested on Thursday morning. HUS's network of hospitals is scheduled to continue to operate normally, according to the statement.

HUS warned patients, however, that there could be delays on Thursday.

On Tuesday the hospital's network had issues with data transmission, but on Wednesday the problem affected access to patient data. Mäkijärvi said the two issues were not related.

"Patients have mostly noticed [the problems] when they had difficulty booking an appointment or that they had to wait a little longer than normal," Mäkijärvi said.

Some surgical procedures were rescheduled a few days ahead because surgeons were unable to read all of their patient's records, Mäkijärvi said.

He said he was unsure what types of operations were postponed, but said it was question of only a handful.

"Luckily, Wednesday's problem was not as widespread as Tuesday's," Mäkijärvi said.

Health authority watching

Finland's National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, Valvira says that it is taking the computer problems at HUS very seriously.

The agency's director Markus Henriksson said that two days in a row of computer problems at the hospital is unacceptable.

He said that Valvira plans to investigate how the problems occurred and in which ways the hospital reacted.

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