Boston Children’s Hospital had a throwback week, going back to a paper-based system thanks to its electronic medical record (EMR) system shutting down for a few days.
According to a report in The Boston Globe, the hospital’s EMR shutdown due to a hardware issue related to its storage system. This forced clinicians to revert to a paper-based system for documenting patient information, inputting test results, and ordering medication. The outage did not affect the hospital’s imaging, registration and administrative systems.
Patients were unable to notice any differences in treatment and barely any plans were altered by the outage, a representative from the hospital to The Globe. Most hospitals have a contingency plan if the EMR goes out but how long they are prepared to revert to paper is dependent on the hospital. Whereas some could last a few hours, Boulder Community Hospital in Colorado had to go 10 days without an EMR.