Patients Define Evolving Expectations for HIT

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , September 17, 2013

Officials at Sutter sent me this statement:

"Sutter Health undertook a long-planned, routine upgrade of its electronic health record over the weekend. There's a certain amount of scheduled downtime associated with these upgrades, and the process was successfully completed.

"On Monday morning, we experienced an issue with the software that manages user access to the EHR. This caused intermittent access challenges in some locations. Our team applied a software patch last night to resolve the issue and restore access.

"Our caregivers and office staff have established and comprehensive processes that they follow when the EHR is offline. They followed these procedures. Patient records were always secure and intact.

"We appreciate the hard work of our caregivers and support staff to follow our routine back-up processes, and we regret any inconvenience this may have caused patients."

I tried to find out more details about the risks to which nurses said patients had been exposed, but a spokesman for the California Nurses Association has yet to provide me with details. One press report stated that patients were not getting their medicine throughout the day, and that the glitch originated not with Epic's software but with virtualization software from Citrix, software which increasingly controls how desktop and tablet users access applications.

Meanwhile, on the complete opposite end of the health IT spectrum, physicians and patients are fascinated with the latest innovation to hit the operating room, Google Glass.

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