Computer Outage at St. Louis Health System Affects EHR Access

| July 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

On Tuesday, BJC HealthCare in St. Louis experienced a computer outage for 20 hours that affected operations across the health system, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Outage Details

According to the Post-Dispatch, the outage occurred from 3 p.m. on Tuesday to about 11 a.m. on Wednesday (Liss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/30).

The outage blocked access to various technology at the health system’s 13 hospitals, including:

The incident also affected the system’s bed tracking system, which hindered its ability to transfer patients from the emergency department to a hospital bed.

During the outage, the health system was forced to register patients and chart their information with pen and paper (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/30).

Next Steps

The exact cause of the outage has not yet been determined (Becker’s Health IT CIO Review, 7/30).

Rich Liekweg, executive vice president of BJC HealthCare, said the system is still conducting a “root cause analysis.”

In the meantime, BJC is working with vendors to correct the IT “issues,” according to a spokesperson.

Liekweg noted that BJC is planning to switch to a new clinical software program by 2017, but the process has not yet started (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/30). According to Becker’s Health IT CIO Review, BJC in March announced it planned to implement Epic’s EHR system (Becker’s Health IT CIO Review, 7/30).

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Category: Medical Technology

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