Australian hospitals investigate Microsoft software glitch that duplicates medication doses in EHR 

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SA Health, Australia's public healthcare system, is investigating whether patients have been harmed by an apparent bug in Microsoft's Remote Desktop software, which is duplicating the last digit of medication doses ordered in the Allscripts Sunrise EHR, Pulse IT reports. 

"Allscripts has investigated the issue and determined the cause is not directly related to the Sunrise solution," Allscripts International President Alan Fowles said in a May 7 statement emailed to Becker's Hospital Review. "While this issue is not caused by Allscripts technology, we stand by our client and we will work closely with them until this matter is 100% resolved." 

Staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Royal Adelaide Hospital and Noarlunga Hospital received an urgent memo May 5 notifying them of an issue with the Sunrise computer system that was duplicating the last digit of medication doses ordered, according to a May 6 Australian Broadcast Corp. News report.  

The glitch caused orders such as 10mg to display as 100mg or 15mg to display as 155mg; in a statement to ABC News, an SA Health spokesperson said they were not aware of any "adverse clinical outcomes" at this time. 

The glitch occurs when the Allscripts Sunrise EHR is accessed using the Microsoft Remote App feature, according to Pulse IT. Microsoft "is providing engineering support to SA Health and partners to address the issue," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Becker's, adding that "we cannot comment on the root cause of the issue at this stage but we are conducting a full investigation." 

SA Health implemented risk mitigation strategies and business continuity plans across all sites using the Sunrise EHR, according to ABC News. While the incident remains under investigation, the health system is performing additional prescription reviews by medical officers, nurses and pharmacists.

 

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