What would you do if an EMR goes down? Really ??? In 2009!!

Remember the news about an EMR outage at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., from August? A new, $57 million installation was rendered useless for hours following a power loss and subsequent failure of battery backups. Fortunately, the health system had a plan in place to revert to paper records during the unscheduled downtime. “This went smoothly because our staff still remembered how to document and write orders on paper, as it hadn’t been that long since we’d gone electronic,” Chief Nursing Officer Sandra Dalton says in a For The Record feature story on dealing with EMR and EHR downtime.

This problem was figured out nearly a decade ago, but my numbers might be a little off. There are very few reasons to have a local server run your EMR program. Perhaps you should configure your EMR to work locally if the internet slows or is briefly disrupted…. BUT as soon as the connection is restored you return to a cloud based operations/storage solution. This is a no-brainer, and a non-starter for platforms that insist on residing locally… even with redundancy built in.


About hjluks

A busy Academic Orthopedic Surgeon, Digital Strategist, Chief Medical Officer and father... intently and efficiently navigating the intersection of Social Media and Health Care.
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One Response to What would you do if an EMR goes down? Really ??? In 2009!!

  1. jeffbrandt says:

    EHR need to be designed like US terrestrial phone systems, They do not fail! My first job out college was building class-5 phone systems (the one you get dial-tone from). Our Mantra that was instilled in us was that if the system goes down someone will die. If a switch fails and you cannot provide 911 service someone will die. Healthcare software companies and programmer must embrace this mantra. The required testing of US telecom switches to achieve this level of uptime is stringent. I was involved with Bellcore testing at Siemens in S. FL where an installed switch was heat tested by turning off the HVAC in a closed building in the summer and placing heavy blankets over the systems to see it the system would remain in service. It they didn’t survive the test the switch did not get approved for the US telecom system. Cloud based system must have alternative communication lines to your facility. That is, different provider and different routing to your facility.Redundancy has to be planned and the cost can be high. It depends on the size of the practice what level of redundancy is needed and can be afforded. In some cases the paper backup might be a good plan.Jeff Brandtwww.comsi.com

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