A “regional digital system outage” was causing delays Monday at Bluewater Health and other hospitals in the region.
The outage impacted email and patient information systems, Bluewater Health’s Keith Marnoch said.
“If you’re coming to the hospital . . . , you’re probably experiencing longer than usual wait times because everything’s being done manually in the absence of these systems,” he said.
The hospital, which runs sites in Sarnia and Petrolia, posted a notice on its website about noon saying “patient appointments might be delayed or postponed.”
TransForm Shared Service Organization, a not-for-profit organization founded to manage IT, supplies and accounts payable by five Erie St. Clair region hospitals, including Bluewater Health, said on its website Monday that, “our member hospitals and Windsor-Essex Hospice are experiencing a systems outage including email.”
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hotel Dieu Grace and Windsor Regional Hospital are also part of TransForm.
“This morning, it was noted that some of our systems were experiencing unusual performance or activities,” said Michelle Watters, TransForm’s director of stakeholder relations, performance and people. “Our teams decided in an abundance of caution to take down all the systems” to ensure all are “running optimally.”
Shortly after 2 p.m., Watters said TransForm teams were “doing an investigation” to “determine the root cause.” They won’t know how long systems will be down until that probe is complete.
“Patient care and patient safety is not affected,” Watters said. “Patients are coming in for appointments. They could be delayed because of this.”
She said email is down within the hospitals, but “our hospitals are still seeing patients, they’re still treating them, it’s just taking a little longer.”
Members of the public planning to visit the emergency department should think carefully, Watters added. “If it’s not a true emergency, then they want to consider utilizing other community health resources, at this time. Otherwise, be prepared to wait.”
Hspital users are reminded to bring their health cards with them, Marnoch said.
“It’s just more onerous process today,” he said. “We’re able to do the medical things, but it’s just taking everything a lot longer to happen.”