Health and Community Services
December 3, 2018

Health and Community Services Advises of Software Error with the Provincial Electronic Medical Record Program

The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) has informed the Department of Health and Community Services about a software error involving the provincial Electronic Medical Record program. The error may have delayed physicians and other health care providers in receiving some medical results, which in turn may have delayed timely notification to patients. The error involved medical results that occurred between November 2017 and November 2018 for 615 patients.

The Electronic Medical Record is a computer-based program designed for use by physicians and other health care providers. The program is jointly governed by NLCHI, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA), and the department, while the software provider for the program is TELUS Health.

The department has been advised by the software provider that the error has been resolved. To date there have been no reports or indication of patient harm. Notification to health care providers of critical medical results was not affected by the error. Despite the error, timely results continued to be available for health care providers in paper format. Medical results were also available electronically on the HEALTHeNL Viewer. Neither the delivery of paper results nor the posting of results to the HEALTHeNL Viewer were affected.

NLCHI has notified all health care providers who were using the affected software. They have been asked to contact patients directly if additional follow-up is required. All impacted patients are also being notified by NLCHI via mail or courier. Impacted patients are encouraged to follow-up with their provider if they have any questions.

Eastern Health’s Quality and Risk Management department is leading, in conjunction with NLCHI and the other regional health authorities, a case-by-case investigation, designed to improve the administration, monitoring and oversight of the program to ensure this does not happen again.

“We have been made aware of 615 patients who may not have received their medical results in a timely manner. This is a serious issue. Safety and full disclosure to those impacted are my primary concerns. I have directed NLCHI to take immediate action to correct this situation. They are in the process of contacting all those impacted, and an investigation is underway.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“Upon learning of this issue, NLCHI’s first priority was to act on behalf of the impacted patients. To date there has been no evidence of harm. We immediately took action to resolve this issue, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure they have confidence in this system moving forward.”
Dr. Kris Aubrey-Bassler
Family Physician and Chair, NLCHI

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Media contacts
Kathy Dicks-Peyton
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 699-1982

Blair Medd
Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information

2018 12 03                              10:55 a.m.