Fire Prompts Call for More Redundancy in Hospital Network

Susan Hall

The recent fire and electrical outage at Seattle's Fisher Plaza data center took down a number of Web sites, but it also severed connections for the hospital records and communications services for hospitals and clinics associated with Swedish Medical Center, one of the largest hospital systems in the area.


TechFlash reports the facilities lost connection to electronic medical records, Internet, e-mail services and in some cases, phone and pager service for 4 1/2 hours on July 3. Though its 30 primary care clinics were closed for the July 4 holiday, the outage affected three hospitals, an emergency center, and a visiting-nurse program.


Calling the episode "a wake-up call," the hospital is working to add more redundancy to its emergency plans.


Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has some knowledge of that, as CIO Jeff Cash told me in January when explaining about that institution's experience with flooding.

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