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Eight NWT patients ‘missed’ as a result of images glitch

The Department of Health now says eight patients in the Northwest Territories faced an unnecessary wait for care after a diagnostic image software glitch.

Earlier this week, health minister Glen Abernethy admitted around 1,500 images such as X-rays and similar scans had not reached the right doctors.

The images had not been correctly sent following an error introduced in a software upgrade.

Abernethy initially said he believed the vast majority of patients had, nonetheless, received prompt care as images reached doctors by other means.

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On Friday, he confirmed a total of eight patients had been ‘missed’ entirely as a result of the problem.

Background: NWT patients’ diagnostic images unread for months after glitch

The nature of the conditions in those eight cases is unclear. But, had their images reached the correct physician as intended, they would have required immediate follow-up.

All patients involved have been contacted, according to the department.

An external review will now try to uncover why the error – which lasted from April 9 to August 6 – went either undiscovered or uncorrected for so long.

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