UPDATE: MCH accepting patients again after four-day outage

Last modified: 11/19/2015 10:55:00 AM
UPDATE: Friday, 1 p.m.

After a four-day systems outage, Monadnock Community Hospital began performing surgeries today (Friday), according to hospital officials. The operating room was the last part of the hospital that hadn't yet resumed operations after a failed computer network upgrade Sunday.The hospital began admitting patients yesterday, regained access to electronic medical records and opened its radiology department, said Laura Gingras, vice president of philanthropy and community relations.Patients scheduled for appointments earlier in the week were turned away; due to the systems failure, the hospital could not notify them in advance.MCH lost access to its network when it performed a computer upgrade Sunday. The upgrade was supposed to take six hours, Gingras said. The upgrade failure debilitated MCH's network, and left the staff unable to access electronic medical records, medical software applications, or diagnostic scheduling appointments.During the outage, the hospital’s primary care physicians used paper records and saw over 800 patients, said Gingras. The oncology and chemotherapy departments also saw scheduled patients.



UPDATE: Thursday, 4:40 p.m.:

After a four-day systems outage, Monadnock Community Hospital is once again admitting patients and has surgeries planned for Friday, according to hospital officials.

The hospital also regained access to electronic medical records and opened its radiology department, said Laura Gingras, vice president of philanthropy and community relations.

Patients scheduled for appointments earlier in the week were turned away; due to the systems failure, the hospital could not notify them in advance.

Officials at the hospital have yet to give a formal statement to the community.

Several community members contacted the Ledger-Transcript to express their concern that the hospital did not alert them to the outage. One Peterborough resident, David Vernier, took to Facebook, posting: "Unconscionable and appalling are two words that come to mind regarding the hospital's irresponsible non-action regarding its duty to notify people who may be driving some distance, making arrangements with family or friends or co-workers to get to an appointment, only to find that the hospital is effectively closed!"

MCH lost access to its network when it performed a computer upgrade Sunday. The upgrade was supposed to take six hours, Gingras said. The upgrade failure debilitated MCH's network, and left the staff unable to access electronic medical records, medical software applications, or diagnostic scheduling appointments.

During the outage, the hospital’s primary care physicians used paper records and saw over 800 patients, said Gingras. The oncology and chemotherapy departments also saw scheduled patients.

(Editor's note: If you've been affected by this outage, please let us know at 924-7172 or news@ledgertranscript.com.)



PETERBOROUGH — Four days worth of surgeries, inpatient procedures, and diagnostic testing appointments at Monadnock Community Hospital were canceled after a computer upgrade failure Sunday knocked out the hospital’s network.

As of Thursday morning, the hospital’s computer network was still not fully operational and no patients were being admitted, officials said. The hospital is operating under a diversion protocol, where emergency patients are routed to other facilities.

“We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding during this major disruption,” said Laura Gingras, vice president of philanthropy and community relations at MCH. “We want to thank our staff.”

Some employees were asked not to come in for work, and will be paid for time off, she said.

The hospital’s primary care physicians used paper records and saw over 800 patients, said Gingras. The oncology and chemotherapy departments also saw scheduled patients.

MCH’s IT staff performed the upgrade Sunday in collaboration with the equipment manufacturer, according to Gingras and Phil McFarland, marketing and communications director. The upgrade was supposed to take six hours, according to CEO Cynthia McGuire.

MCH has not yet calculated how much it has lost in revenue, officials said.

The outage affected lab departments as well. Primary care practices were able to see patients, but were unable to perform lab or radiology work. If a patient needed these services, the lab work or radiology was performed at another facility.

Monadnock Community Hospital is one of 26 acute care hospitals in the state, and a critical access hospital, which has 25 beds. Along with Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, MCH serves the Monadnock region. MCH’s medical staff includes over 125 primary and specialty care physicians, 15 dentists and 23 health professional affiliates. Its network includes physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers on MCH’s campus, as well as other locations in Peterborough, Jaffrey, Antrim and New Ipswich.



Benji Rosen can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228, or brosen@ledgertranscript.com. Follow him on Twitter @Benji_Rosen.


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