Code grey: Inside a ‘catastrophic’ IT failure at the Queensway Carleton Hospital – CBC

Computers, phones, medical equipment stopped working during almost 20-hour outage

Nov 21, 2022

Emergency room doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals who worked through the night during a major, hospital-wide computer and phone outage in Ottawa were “sticking their necks out” in an “exceptionally unsafe” environment, according to documents obtained by CBC News.

Inaccessible medical records, inoperable equipment, defective backup phones and pagers, and poor communication from administrators plagued the Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) for nearly 20 hours in early September when a “code grey” was declared, internal records obtained through a Freedom of Information request show.

Code grey refers to infrastructure failure. QCH called one shortly after noon on Friday, Sept. 9, which lasted till 9:38 a.m. the following day.

According to QCH executives, a one-two punch of computer hardware failures — first the primary core, then the backup core — affected everything from medical devices to phones.

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