Tidelands Health computer system failure delays tests, reroutes ambulances

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Georgetown, S.C.-based Tidelands Health experienced a computer system failure at the end of August that temporarily delayed outpatient tests and procedures and rerouted ambulances. While systems were down, no patient information was compromised, reports Myrtle Beach Sun News.

The health system said a failure related to the heating, ventilation and air condition system "led to intermittent computer system issues, including a hardware malfunction in mid-September," according to the report. The failure affected the entire organization, which includes two acute care hospitals and a rehabilitation hospital. Some of the problems persisted through last week, but the health system indicates it has "restored the majority of systems," according to the report.

In comments to Becker's Hospital Review, Tidelands Health said hospital ERs went on ambulance diversion for a brief period out of an abundance of caution. Additionally, the health system said there were minimal delays in processing "a small number of test results, and a few isolated outpatient appointments were rescheduled."

"Like all healthcare providers, we have robust downtime procedures and processes in place. As a heatlh system in a hurricane-prone area, this is especially true for our orgnaization," according to the health system, which said it will routinely plan for and practice downtime procedures, as well as invest in infrastructure and systems.

Editor's note: This report was updated at approximately 4:05 pm CST to include comments from Tidelands Health.

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