Feeds

NHS computers prescribe trouble

Lives may be at risk, study claims

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

NHS computer systems fail to spot dangerous prescription errors, according to researchers. The problem may put lives at risk.

The study was conducted by teams at universities in Edinburgh, Kent and Nottingham. All of the computer systems in use in three quarters of the UK's GP surgeries had flaws, the research teams said, when tested with dangerous situations such as prescription of drugs which conflict with a patient's medical condition as noted on his or her records.

For example: one system failed to highlight the risk of prescribing the combined contraceptive pill to a woman suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), despite the widely-recognised potentially harmful side-effects of the pill to those with DVT. Another allowed the team to prescribe asprin to a child. Again, this is not good practise as it can cause a disease called Reye's Syndrome.

The good news is that most of the problems uncovered by the study can be resolved. Professor Aziz Sheikh, of Edinburgh University, noted that IT systems have the potential to cut this kind of error, but stressed that there needs to be better communication between the computer system and drug database users.

The findings are published in the British Medical Journal. ®

Related stories

NHS rolls out digital X-rays
Healthcare IT spend on the up-and-up
European healthcare 'online by 2008'
Bush presses for electronic medical records

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.