Danish hospitals losing millions: patients forget to return wheelchairs and crutches

Lucie Rychla
December 28th, 2016

This article is more than 7 years old.

Meanwhile, almost 1,000 computers at hospitals in Copenhagen are at risk of hacker attacks

Hospitals in Denmark have in the past two years lost about 2.5 million kroner because patients do not return medical equipment like wheelchairs, crutches and toilet chairs loaned to them, reveals a DR Nyheder survey.

The situation is particularly serious in the Capital Region, where local hospitals have lost about 750,000 kroner this year alone.

Morten Østergaard, a senior therapist at Bispebjerg Hospital, argues that even though their patients return about 98.5 percent of the equipment they loan, the hospital is still missing items worth 240,000 kroner this year.

According to Østergaard, the hospital has not yet requested debt collection services to deal the cases. Instead, they usually send forgetful patients two reminders to deliver the loaned equipment back.

READ MORE: New healthcare platform causing more issues

Old and incesure operating system
Meanwhile, journalists from radio P4 København have found that 985 computers used by staff at hospitals in the Capital Region run the old operating system Windows XP, which is susceptible to malware and can be easily hacked.

Two years ago, Microsoft stopped releasing security updates for this operating system, which makes it very vulnerable not only to computer viruses, trojan horses and worms, but also to hackers.

Søren Debois, a professor at the IT University and expert in data security, worries that hackers can steal medical data from the computers or they could use them to gain access to other public IT systems in the region.

The Capital Region has explained the hospitals continue using computers with Windows XP because they run important programs, which have not yet been updated to newer versions of the operating system.

The new health platform, which has been rolled out at Rigshospital, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital requires Windows 7 and is thus not subject to security threat, reports radio P4 København.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive The Daily Post

Latest Podcast