The Pathology Department of Kwong Wah Hospital discovered on 3 January that one batch of blood specimens of patients had not been delivered to Caritas Medical Centre in the afternoon as scheduled. The blood specimens were stored in a designated specimen transportation container and consisted of 149 tubes of specimens for Glycated Haemoglobin routine test (including patients from Departments of Medicine and Geriatrics, Surgery, and General Out-patient Department). Information label on the specimen tubes included patient's name, ID number, age and gender.
The hospital immediately commenced a large-scale search but still could not locate the batch of specimens so far. It is probable the specimens might be misplaced in other Hospital Authority's hospitals. Hence the risk of patients' data leakage to the public is low.
Since all the blood specimens cannot be delivered for laboratory examination, the hospital has started to contact the concerned patients to explain the incident and to extend apologies, and also to arrange the patients for a re-take of blood specimen.
Preliminary clinical assessment has been carried out by the hospital which concluded that the delay in the blood testing shall not bring any adverse impact to the treatment of patients. KWH had reported the incident to the Police and also verbally informed the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data. Hospital Authority Head Office (HAHO) was also notified via the Advance Incident Reporting System.
The hospital apologised for the inconvenience caused to the affected patients and would continue to communicate with them on the subsequent arrangements. An investigation panel has been set up to review the prevailing procedures for a root-cause analysis and also to recommend improvement measures. MIMS
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