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Daan Weggemans on the impact ICT malfunctions have on hospitals

On Monday 2 September, a computer malfunction severely crippled several hospitals in the Dutch province of Gelderland. Which had a huge impact on patients’ appointments. Daan Weggemans, researcher at the Institute for Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) was interviewed on the issue by Dutch regional newspaper ‘De Stentor’.

Weggemans is currently looking into ICT malfunctions affecting public organisations. He says that hospitals are becoming more vulnerable because more and more systems are being connected to each other. For instance: systems used to digitally plan appointments or systems used to book operation rooms. ‘These digital systems are connected to all the different departments within the hospital. When one of these general systems, for instance the appointment registry, malfunctions it has huge consequences for the entire organisation. It is no longer limited to one single corner that is unable to function, it affects the entire hospital’, according to Weggemans.

Growing Problem

ICT malfunctions in hospitals have been a growing problem for some time, according to Wegemans. ‘I believe most hospitals are aware of this. They are working hard to fix the problem but the digital world is continuously changing and as a result it is difficult to determine whether their ICT infrastructure is adequate. It may vary.’

You can read the full article (in Dutch) on the website of de Stentor.

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