Doctor says IT downtimes ‘recipe for disaster’ for ER patient care – CBC

Internal emails show objections to keeping Queensway Carleton Hospital ER open

Feb 27, 2023

At least two patients were exposed to potential harm during a hospital IT outage in Ottawa last year, prompting doctors to speak out against keeping the emergency department open in subsequent “planned downtimes,” according to internal emails obtained by CBC News.

“I think it is a recipe for disaster,” an emergency department doctor urged in a message to managers at Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) in late September.

The hospital had already experienced at least three prior outages that month, including a major code grey (short for critical infrastructure failure) on Sept. 9 that knocked out computers, phones and medical devices for nearly 20 hours.

To address ongoing concerns, QCH told staff it needed to trigger more downtimes to update and fix the system, including one on Sept. 28 during the overnight shift.

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