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Tue 4 Nov 2008 10:48 AM

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DoHMS investigates electronic data fiasco

Investigation launched by health officials into legality of DOHMS axed online data reporting system

An investigation has been launched by health officials in Dubai into the legality of an online data reporting system that was axed in September amid physicians concerns over patient confidentiality.

The investigation, which is expected to conclude mid-month, is being carried out by a team at the Department for Health and Medical Services [DoHMS], the agency that introduced the system in July.

Investigators are examining who is legally responsible for a situation that asked around 600 hundred private clinics and hospitals to send confidential information, including patients' names and photo identification, to DoHMS.

“DoHMS has an obligation to investigate this. People were complaining from the private sector because they had to give all this information,” a DoHMS spokesperson said.

The probe is also expected to clarify if clinics that spent up to AED 40,000 on associated products, sold by the system’s developer Tendercare, are entitled to a refund.

Doctors said were misled into buying the products, which have been rendered useless with the system's demise.

“We were being asked for a massive amount of information which was not possible to do manually and so we called them [Tendercare] in, and we went with what they said,” said Dr Michael Loubser, medical director of the Infinity Health Clinic in Al Wasl Road.

“It was only when the tech guy came in to fix some problems that he told us we did not have to buy all this,” he added.

However, Tendercare managing director Dr Naval Kishore said the clinics had made an independent decision.

Poor communication by DoHMS meant clinics were unaware that patient's names were not needed, he added.

"I think basically it was lack of communication from DoHMS. People felt the system was being thrust upon them," he said.

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valerie 11 years ago

I think it is ironic and maybe a bit humorous that an electronic system designed to communicate data from one human being to another fails due to a lack of communication between people!