Islamabad - The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) requires around four million rupees for the up-gradation of Information Technology (IT) system which crashed after facing frequent interruptions and caused severe difficulties for the patients, The Nation learned on Friday.

 Sources informed The Nation that the relevant department dealing with the Health Management Information System (HMIS) has informed to hospital top administration that though the technical fault has been recovered by the staff but two days data record has been lost from the system.

An official said that though the technical staff has repaired the fault but the permanent solution requires the replacement of current IT serves and procurement of new software which will cost Rs4million.

 Meanwhile, FIA was already probing the millions of rupee financial corruption held in purchasing and installing of the software.

The letter written to the hospital management regarding failure of the IT system and its re-implementation available with The Nation said, “due to frequent server failure interruption in server of HMIS occurred during, September, 2018 especially on 29th September, 2018. Technical team of HMIS, PIMS and EGS staff do their best possible solutions for improvement of their services, but sometimes unpredictable pitfalls pop-up due to old Hardware (obsolete) and old versions of Software’s (i.e Windows for Servers & SQL, Database 2003) so, we are sorry for any convenience,”.

The letter further said that it informed the administration that HMIS technical team with support of EGS staff successfully  resolved the issues on the 2nd October, 2018 but unfortunately, we lost two days data (from 30th September to 01st October, 2018) because the last available back-up of HMIS was scheduled on 29th September 2018. So, your cooperation and understanding is highly appreciated.

“We are planning to improve our HMIS to prevent similar issues, happening again and again. In this connection, following steps have been taken with available resources and replacement of hardware (Hard Drives & RAMs for Server),” said the letter.

The technical staff in its efforts made for recovering the fault in the IT system upgraded Operating System from Windows server 2003 to Windows server 2008, upgraded of database from SQL Servers 2003 to SQL Server 2008 and Data migrated from old version to new.

The letter said that after implementation of above mentioned changes and up gradation, few data tables/ attributes and their entities may be required few minor changes during implementation and process (on day to day basis).

“As far as concerned about the solution on permanent footing replacement of servers, SAN and Core switches) up gradation of data center is necessary and linked with procurement of PACS or availability of fund/budget (approximate cost is four million rupees),” stated the later.

The PIMS has installed two different softwares in the hospital for the management and both were not working properly. The hospital has no alternate arrangement to manage the huge influx of the patients and it had to use the manual method for the registration of the patients.

The two different I.T systems include HMIS and Children Health Management Information System (CHMI), while the software of the children hospital will also expire in the month of December.

Hundreds of patients visiting PIMS kept suffering for three days due to fault in the online registration system and were being given hand written slips for the medical examination in the hospital.

Spokesperson PIMS Dr. Waseem Khawja talking to The Nation said that the fault in the I.T system has been recovered now and the hospital is working to address the solution on permanent basis.

He said the hospital is facing huge influx of patients which also results in load on the server. “The previous software has been up-graded to 2008 version and the technical staff worked day and night to solve the problem,” he said.

Dr. Waseem said that he cannot comment on the FIA inquiry proceedings underway regarding purchasing of the software.