As reported in the Irish Times on 3 August 2017, at least 25,000 patients across the country may need to have X-rays, MRI scans, CT scans and ultrasounds redone due to a major flaw in the HSE’s computer system. The problem, which was discovered last week, affects scans taken from 2011 to July of this year.

The problem relates to imaging held at the HSE’s National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) which stores radiology, cardiology and other diagnostic imaging. It has been discovered that when images were archived, the ‘less than’ symbol (<), when used in a report, was omitted. This means, for example, where a patient had a narrowing of the arteritis in the heart of <50%, it would have been incorrectly recorded as 50%.

Thousands of patients may need to have tests carried out again as a result of the errors. Furthermore, a consultant radiologist has said that some patients may have received unnecessary treatment because their symptoms appeared worse than they actually were.

The HSE has launched a major investigation to assess the risk to patients.