Cerner IT error delays delivery of 28K patient letters at London hospital 

Royal Free Hospital in London identified a technical error associated with updates to its Cerner-based system as the cause of a six-month delay to thousands of patient letters being sent out, according to a Feb. 14 Camden News Journal report.

It took the hospital six months to identify the issue that stopped more than 28,000 letters concerning 21,444 patients from being delivered between June 27, 2019, and Jan. 21, the publication reports.

Royal Free, which is part of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, arranged an investigation panel with Cerner to assess the severity of the incident. The hospital confirmed that the IT error has been fixed and that affected letters are being clinically reviewed as a precaution, according to the report.

"The IT fault, caused by a customized Cerner update, has now been fixed," the hospital said in a statement. "We have not identified any cases of patient harm but will continue to monitor the situation as a precaution."

No other Cerner clients were affected by the IT issue, a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Becker's Hospital Review

"Due to the unique design of a custom script deployed within Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust's EHR, there was an issue that has now been resolved," the Cerner spokesperson said. "No other Cerner clients were affected, as it was caused by a specific custom script only implemented at [Royal Free London]."

Editor's note: This article was updated at 10 a.m. CT on Feb. 18 to include a statement from Cerner.

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