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AIIMS-Delhi Faces Patient Disruptions as Computer System Crashes

AIIMS encountered significant disruptions as its computer server experienced a crash, leading to extended delays for hundreds of patients seeking registration in the OPD and various hospital departments over two consecutive days. This marks the second instance of computer system failures at the hospital within a year. Officials, however, indicated that services were restored by Thursday afternoon, attributing the incident to maintenance work. Sources, on the other hand, suggested that the system malfunctioned following a software update.

The breakdown had a severe impact on all patient services, including OPD registration, sample collection, report generation, billing, and admissions, resulting in substantial delays. Patients arriving at AIIMS for medical consultations had to endure extended waits as staff had to resort to manual registration due to the computer malfunction. One woman, for instance, who had come from Ghaziabad for a consultation in the medicine department, found herself waiting for over an hour without receiving a registration card.

Staff members explained that the delay was a result of manual handling caused by the non-functioning computers. Existing patients at the institute, who required diagnostic tests, faced similar inconveniences. Long queues formed outside the smart lab as server issues prevented the generation of barcodes. The billing counters also encountered the same problems. The treatment process was delayed as lab reports were unavailable online, requiring patients to collect printouts. Additionally, the admission process was hindered, as the number of vacant beds wasn’t displayed online, according to sources.

Since Wednesday morning, most administrative processes related to patient care have been conducted manually. A senior AIIMS doctor suggested that the administration should have a backup server system in place to ensure the institute’s smooth operation. While online systems offer convenience, they pose risks in the event of technical glitches. A manual system should be maintained for patient-related services, as complete reliance on online infrastructure could lead to system collapses, especially given AIIMS’s past experience with server hacks in November of the previous year. Some doctors expressed concerns that the institute’s data load may be overwhelming for the server to handle.

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