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MUHC rescheduling some patient appointments after computer upgrade issues

Doctors with the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) are being told to reschedule some appointments after a computer upgrade has crippled the system that accesses patients' electronic medical records.

Employees who use the Oacis system are also being told to send urgent requests only by filling in a paper form during the outage "to reduce the pressure on our services, which are currently in manual mode," reads an internal memo to staff obtained by CTV News.

The computer issues started last Friday, according to multiple sources who told CTV News that the glitch has reduced their ability to see patients by about 50 per cent and has compromised patient care.

The Oacis system allows health-care professionals to access a patient's medical information, including test results, medication information and treatment history, according to a description on the Jewish General Hospital website.

The internal memo says outpatient clinics are also being told to withhold imaging requisitions for new appointments until the system is up and running again. Patients' lab results can only be printed in certain locations of the hospital network.

The memo stated Oacis has been inaccessible since 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday.

In an email provided to CTV News, the MUHC confirmed it is experiencing delays due to the computer issue.

"While the system update is ongoing, we have put in place a contingency plan that allows units to access patient files and receive results. In spite of this contingency plan, access to patient information is slower than through Oacis, and as a result we will have to reschedule some ambulatory appointments and limit laboratory and medical imaging requests to those that are most urgent," wrote Annie-Claire Fournier, a media relations advisor with the MUHC.

"All MUHC employees and doctors have been regularly updated with the status of the system update, and have received relevant information regarding the contingency plan. Teams have been working around the clock with external support to fix the situation as rapidly as possible. We are sensitive to the impact this situation might have on our patients and are working diligently to reinstate the system as soon as possible."

This is a developing story that will be updated. Top Stories

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