Flawed computer system delaying care for Copenhagen cancer patients

New program a nightmare for doctors and patients

A new computer system in use at several hospitals in Copenhagen is currently causing more problems than it is solving.

Cancer patients are missing appointments, showing up for non-existent X-rays or simply disappearing from the system altogether while doctors stare helplessly at the spinning wheel of death on their screens for hours on end.

Dangerous delays
These and other problems are plaguing departments at several Capital Region hospitals and causing delays for hundreds of patients.

More than 400 patients – some with acute and life-threatening symptoms – are being affected by the failing system. The affected hospitals include Herlev, Bispebjerg, Frederiksberg, Hvidovre, Amager and Gentofte.

The system has been in use at those hospitals for eight months, but has performed so poorly that the steering committee at Rigshospitalet has decided to drop the installation  indefinitely.

“I am very sorry about this situation and I can assure you we are trying to contact all affected patients, provide then with new times and inform them of their progress,” said Klaus Lundingsgade, the head of Herlev and Gentofte Hospitals.

Failing system
The new system was intended to help doctors share X-rays, images, appointments and results across all the hospitals in the Capital Region, but is somehow losing track of patients with acute and life-threatening symptoms.

“The situation is serious and patient-critical, and many patients and staff are deeply-frustrated,” said Lundingsgade.

READ MORE: No-shows at hospitals costing Denmark significant resources

Regional Council chair Sophie Hæstorp Andersen is angry at the difficulties the failing IT system has created for patients,

“I know they are working full-time to fix the problems,” said Andersen.

“I will take up the matter at our next executive committee meeting so we can get clarity about how to proceed.”