CIO Looks at IT Breakdowns in Health Care Organizations
An article in the current issue of CIO magazine looks at several major information technology breakdowns in the health care industry in the last year, including incidents at several California health care organizations, summarized below.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles suspended use of its computerized physician order entry system in January following physician complaints.
- In March, a power outage caused Kaiser Permanente to misprint labels on prescription drugs; it contacted 4,700 people to verify their orders after the incident.
- A laboratory computer system failure in April at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center caused the emergency room to turn away ambulances.
CIO also considers the case of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Covenant Health, a six-hospital system whose network was infected by a virus in January. The virus entered the network through a single open port between a prescription computer system at Covenant and a "trusted technology partner," CIO reports. The six hospitals reverted to manual care, and it took 12 hours to repair the network. "What you learn from this is that it doesn't take much to affect health care," Frank Clark, CIO and senior vice president of Covenant, said, adding, "We were exploited by one little vulnerability and a crude virus that just overwhelmed everybody" (Berinato, CIO, 6/15). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.