Power outages, coding issues for hospitals left in Irene's wake

While many hospitals were evacuated over the weekend in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, that didn't prevent facilities up and down the East Coast from having their share of IT-related issues.

For instance, physicians at Coney Island Hospital--which moved its patients to Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn--had trouble adapting to the procedures and electronic ordering systems used at its temporary home. The unfamiliarity led to test and treatment delays, according to the New York Times.

Johnson Memorial Hospital, meanwhile, a 92-bed facility in Stafford Springs, Conn., was forced to evacuate its patients after its backup generators failed on Sunday afternoon, reports the Suffield Patch. The hospital initially lost power Saturday during the storm.

Several hospitals on Long Island also lost power, according to a state-by-state damage assessment compiled by Bloomberg. And according to the Ossining-Croton on Hudson Patch, calls to Cortland Manor, N.Y.-based Hudson Valley Hospital Center's switchboard were limited because of fiber optic cable problems caused by the Irene.

Hospitals that lost power in Rhode Island and throughout central and southeastern Virginia are the first priority of companies attempting to restore power, the Providence Journal and the Virginian-Pilot report, respectively.

The HIStalk blog created a page for reports from the field, where hospital employees can write in and talk about how their facilities are being affected. 

For more information:
- chck out the NYT article
- here's the Suffield Patch piece
- read the Bloomberg assessment
- read the Ossining-Croton on Hudson Patch story
- here's the Providence Journal article
- check out the Virginian-Pilot story
- here's the HIStalk reports page
- tell us about your hospital's issues via LinkedIn

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