We refer to the letters by Dr Yik Keng Yeong, Dr Desmond Wai and Mr Chen Kok Kiong (Should Singaporeans worry about electronic health systems?, 10 Sept; Who is legally responsible if patient overdoses due to mislabelling?, Sept 11; and IHiS needs to explain how drug dosage error occurred, Sept 14; respectively).
As a result of a system upgrade for GPConnect that was implemented on Sept 1, some clinics using GPConnect encountered problems where medication labels were printed wrongly. We investigated the incident upon being notified of the issue, informed all affected clinics of the incident from Sept 2 and provided support. We have been monitoring the situation and there have been no further issues identified since Sept 3.
Patient safety is our priority, as is the case for our GPConnect clinics providing patient care. We apologise for the error.
Initial investigation showed that the vendor made some changes which were unrelated to the upgrade, hence the user acceptance tests which were designed to evaluate the upgrade were unable to pick up on the error. The vendor also did not report any errors from other tests.
Investigations are still ongoing. We will review and strengthen the testing procedure to prevent such errors. We will also step up monitoring of software roll-outs and enhance our response to support our users.
A media report said that our staff had told a GPConnect clinic that "it was his clinic's fault for not checking". We have checked the correspondence. We wish to clarify that this statement was inaccurate.
We take our responsibility very seriously and value the working relationship we have with all our partners, including clinics using GPConnect. We will continue to do our utmost to render all necessary support.
Phyllis Yap (Ms)
Director, Primary Care
Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS)