Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Computer virus affects hospitals

Thanks to Alan Cox via FIPR for pointing out this BBC story:

"Three London hospitals have been forced to shut down their entire computer systems for at least 24 hours after being hit by a virus.

St Bartholomew's (Barts) in the City, the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and The London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green are affected.

A spokesman said well-rehearsed emergency procedures were in place."

Now if someone suffering from diabetes slipped into a coma do you think they would:

(a) like the attending paramedics/medics to check their medical records on the hospital computer (assuming they can identify the patient)?


(b) be wearing a medical bracelet so the attending paramedics and medics knew she was diabetic regardless of whether she could be identified or not?

Bit of a no contest that one isn't it? As Alan Cox says:

"Another lesson in why you want your medical data available physically and locally in case of failures - and not dependant on computers and networks accessing a remote data centre..."

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