SMS test result discrepancy handled

March 7, 2021

The Hospital Authority today said it was notified by the COVID-19 test service vendor that some members of the public received the wrong specimen bottle number in the SMS messages concerning their test results.


As a result, these people could not log in to the government’s electronic testing record system to download their test results.


To tie in with the Centre for Health Protection’s Enhanced Laboratory Surveillance Programme, the authority contracted a test service vendor to arrange COVID-19 tests and provide the negative result notifications via SMS.        


The authority said the incident was caused by a specimen bottle number discrepancy during the test result information handling process.


The 103 people who were affected returned their specimen bottles to general outpatient clinics on March 2. All the test results came back negative.


The vendor confirmed that neither personal data nor privacy was involved in the discrepancy and no test result was affected.


Upon receiving the notification yesterday, the authority requested the vendor to inform those affected and send an amendment SMS immediately.


It also tasked the vendor with reviewing the system and fixing the error.


The incident was reported to the Food & Health Bureau and the Department of Health.

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