Just another computer "glitch", that innocuous euphemism for a catastrophe-promoting IT defect, this time causing patients to receive the wrong antibiotics:

Regina Leader-Post
April 17, 2013

15 patients possibly given wrong antibiotic after lab error at Regina General Hospital 

Fifteen patients in southern Saskatchewan were potentially treated with the wrong antibiotic stemming from a lab error at Regina General Hospital, the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region announced Tuesday.

According to the RQHR, lab reports between late January and late March erroneously deemed Clindamycin would effectively treat the patients' infections when those bugs were actually resistant to the drug.  [The biological bugs, not the cybernetic bugs, that is - ed.]

Only one of the 15 patients suffered adverse effects. The 15th patient, an adult male, experienced short-term negative effects but has since been switched to another antibiotic. Citing patient confidentiality, the health region would not elaborate on the man's condition.

Dr. Jessica Minion, a medical microbiologist in the General Hospital's laboratory, said a computer glitch caused the faulty reports between Jan. 23 and March 28. 

Need I add that this "glitch" could very easily have killed people?

Minion added she and other medical staff will now cross-check lab reports against lab tests after a change has been made within the computer system.

Wait - if the "glitch" is fixed, why is cross-checking still needed?  Doesn't sound like there's much confidence in this computing system...

The lab became aware of the problem on March 28 when the doctor treating the man who experienced problems notified the hospital, Minion said. Lab staff then sifted through records and determined a total of 15 people had been prescribed Clindamycin since the erroneous reports began Jan. 23. 

Clindamycin itself is not an innocuous drug, with many potential serious side effects.

"It was a very identifiable mistake that was being made in the computer system, and there is a very clear trail of who exactly it affected," she said. "So we are quite confident that we have identified everybody that would have been affected."

Only by the grace of God, none of those affected are six feet (2 meters) under, either due to their primary infections or drug adverse events from a drug they should never have been given.

At least this time the oft-heard refrain "but patient safety was not compromised" was not proffered.

-- SS

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