July 21, 2014 6:14 pm

Power outage crashes Interior Health system

Kelowna General Hospital is one of 22 hospitals in the IHA that were without access to computerized patient records on Monday after a power surge caused electrical damage to the mainframe in Kelowna Saturday.

Kelowna General Hospital is one of 22 hospitals in the IHA that were without access to computerized patient records on Monday after a power surge caused electrical damage to the mainframe in Kelowna Saturday.

Global Okanagan

KELOWNA, B.C. – UPDATE TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2:15 P.M. All computer systems were back up and running within the Interior Health Authority by 6 P.M. Monday, according to communications officer Grace Kucey.

Power surges have disabled computers across the Interior Health Authority (IHA), including electronic patient records at all hospitals from Kamloops to Kelowna and Cranbrook.

The power flashed on and off several times Saturday evening in Kelowna, where the IHA computer mainframe calls home.

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Cathy Renkas, spokesperson for IHA, says the surges damaged electrical components that operate the mainframe.

Everything from email to accessing patient records were affected on Monday, according to Grace Kucey, communications officer at IHA. A backup system carried computers through from Satruday until work could be done to the mainframe during the week.

Contingency plans are in place, says Renkas, who says services continue to be available at all acute care facilities.

But for IHA workers who rely 100 per cent on computers, it meant being sent home for the day. Renkas says some people have chosen to take a vacation day.

IHA did not notify the public through the media about the computer issues as they have no ability to email media.

Renkas says updates from their information systems department are coming in hourly. She says she is looking forward to better news about the crashed system Tuesday.

It’s estimated about 740,000 people live within the Interior Health Region in B.C, which covers almost 215,000 square kilometres.

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