IT issue affecting heart risk calculator causes incorrect patient diagnosis

13 June 2016        

Category: BHF Comment

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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have conducted an investigation after it was discovered that a computer system used by many GPs in England may have incorrectly prescribed or denied statins to patients.

The investigation has shown that incorrect results have been produced for a limited number of patients.

What is being done?

The MHRA is urgently working with the software provider to make sure the identified issue is resolved and that any affected patients are identified.

Clinical advice received by the MHRA is that the risk to patients is low and only a limited number of patients are potentially affected. GPs have been informed and they will contact individual patients should any further action be necessary.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: 
“We are aware that a technical issue with one of the computer systems in GP surgeries has caused a number of people to receive an incorrect estimate of their risk of having a stroke or heart attack in the next ten years. 
“Following a thorough investigation led by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in conjunction with NHS England, and others, we are now satisfied that the issue has been resolved. 
“We want to reassure people that GP surgeries are being contacted to ensure patients with any incorrect scores that require review are contacted. 
“Anyone who has concerns should speak with their GP or nurse during their next routine appointment.”

What should patients do?

Patients should continue to take prescribed medicines and if they have any questions should ask a nurse or doctor at their next routine review.
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