Routine Cerner update causes EHR downtime at Arizona hospital

Jackie Drees - Print  | 

Phoenix-based Abrazo Community Health Network's Cerner EHR system was down for three days last week following a routine update performed by the vendor, according to KTVK, a CBS affiliate.

The system outage began June 11 and was still in effect three days later. In a June 17 statement emailed to Becker's Hospital Review, an Abrazo Community Health Network spokesperson said the health system's EHR was back online and that its hospitals and outpatient centers were operational during the downtime.

"Due to the collaboration of our physicians and other caregivers, and with great support from our national incident recovery command center, we were able to continue providing our patients with high quality care and avoid any patient harm," the spokesperson wrote.

ACHN experienced the EHR issue after Cerner performed an update to their system, a Cerner spokesperson told Becker's in an emailed statement. The EHR vendor assisted the health system with restoring services.

During the EHR downtime, hospital clinicians completed paper charts for patients, according to the report. Victoria Miller, the daughter of a patient admitted to ACHN with a septic infection the day the outage began, said her father had experienced hours-long delays in treatments and tests as a result of the system outage.

"He went hours without his antibiotic in his IV bag," Ms. Miller said. "My aunt had to actually show a picture of what it was for [the nurses] to get the right one. They're doing the charting but we're having to tell them what medications he's on, how much, when he's getting them or had them."

Ms. Miller also said that the hospital did not inform patients right away when the system went down, and her family was not notified until after her aunt started asking questions regarding why her dad wasn't receiving medications, according to the report.

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