10 hospitals, health systems that experienced EHR downtime in the past 16 months

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From cyberattacks, vendor system updates or even a cyclone, EHR outages and downtime can happen to any hospital at any time.

Here are 10 hospitals and health systems that experienced EHR downtime in the past 16 months, plus how they managed the technical issues:

1. The computer system and EHR at more than 500-affiliated offices of Boston Children's Hospital were down for three days in February following a malware attack. The main hospital was not affected by the malware attack.

2. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London experienced EHR downtime on Jan. 28 due to technical issues with its Cerner system. The technical issues were the result of routine system maintenance by Cerner, and the system was up and running within the same day.

3. Several Northern Light Health hospitals lost EHR and email access Oct. 17, 2019, after a nor'easter storm caused power outages across Maine. Staff at the Brewer, Maine-based health system resumed operations during the cyclone by switching to paper records.

4. Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based DCH Health System restored services Oct. 10, 2019, and lifted its diversion protocol for its three hospitals after being hit by a ransomware attack earlier in the month. The cyberattack caused the hospital to divert patients and perform downtime procedures from Oct. 1-9, prompting clinicians to use paper-based charting and ordering. The health system paid the hackers an undisclosed ransom on Oct. 5.

5. Australia's Queensland public hospitals experienced EHR downtime Sept. 10, 2019, due to a routine Cerner software patch. The $1.2 billion EHR system, developed by Cerner, crashed for about two hours. Eight Queensland Health hospitals were affected by the EHR outage, which was the result of a Cerner-scheduled routine update. 

6. Twenty-six King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services hospitals had limited access to their Cerner-based EHR systems last June following technical issues at one of the EHR vendor's data centers. The problems lasted for about two hours on June 21 before normal hospital operations were restored.

7. Phoenix-based Abrazo Community Health Network's Cerner EHR system was down for three days last June following a routine update performed by the vendor.

8. Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network experienced an IT systems disruption May 29, 2019, that interfered with access to the health system's Epic EHR. The disruption affected all seven of AHN's hospitals, causing delays to some scheduled medical procedures and downtime of the online patient portal.

9. Elizabethtown, Ky.-based Hardin Memorial Hospital reverted to manual operations after experiencing a disturbance to its IT systems and EHR downtime on April 5, 2019. Patient care was not affected by the disruption, but the hospital called in extra staff to perform manual processes while the systems were down.

10. Boston-based Partners HealthCare regained access to its EHR platform after experiencing downtime for several hours Feb. 11, 2019. In a series of tweets that morning, the health system said it was experiencing technical issues with some clinical and administrative information systems, including its EHR.

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