Cash-strapped health IT vendors a danger for hospitals

Financial issues for a software company could result in medical procedures going unscheduled and needy patients going without beds at a hospital across the pond, providing a cautionary tale for U.S. hospitals about the importance of vendor selection.

Late last month, IMS Computers Ltd., in bankruptcy proceedings in Ireland, discovered that it can't stay in business without an influx of investor capital, according to an article published in the Irish Examiner. The company, which manages 10 million patient records throughout Ireland and the UK, also owns software that controls both the operating schedules and the bed allocation processes at several hospitals.

The bankruptcy examiner overseeing the proceedings testified to Ireland's High Court August 29 that shutting down the company would be "catastrophic" to the hospitals and patients.

An investor offered to supply the funds to keep the company afloat but only if the bankruptcy petition is allowed to proceed. The court approved it, primarily because of the patient safety concerns.     

To learn more:
- read the Irish Examiner article