Public hospitals faced a territory-wide computer system outage on Tuesday morning, the Hospital Authority has confirmed. The outage comes at a time when public hospitals are having problems coping with patient demand, with six hospitals exceeding 120 percent of their capacity this week.

The hospital authority said that the Clinical Management System On-ramp (CMS On-ramp) was down at 9:23am on Tuesday and resumed service after around 22 minutes of outage.

Packed medical wards. Photo: Apple Daily.

A nurse told Ming Pao that the CMS On-ramp system enabled doctors to look up patient information, including allergies to medicines and previous examination results, through a patient’s ID number. The outage meant that more time was needed to search for a patient’s information and records, said a doctor.

The authority said that it will investigate the issue to prevent it from happening again. It also added that the outage did not affect any patients, and that staff could still access the electronic health records system for patient information during the interval.

similar event happened last September when the Hospital Authority accidentally upgraded Internet Explorer from version 9 to 11, even though its system only functions on Internet Explorer 9. This led to an outage of almost 10 hours, according to Ming Pao.

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Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.