The IT security incident caused a patient to have his scheduled procedure canceled without notice
OMAHA, Nebraska – Some patients are affected by an ongoing information technology issue at CHI Health hospitals in Nebraska.
CHI Health reports that its parent company, Common Spirit Health, is managing the IT issue that occurred on Monday.
For patients like John Farnan, though, it has been a burden.
“It had no lemon, lime, or orange flavor; it was flavorless. Farnan, while holding an empty gallon jug, states, “I don’t want to describe the flavor.”
This jug contained the unpalatable, system-clearing liquid that patients must consume prior to a colonoscopy.
“It’s not something you look forward to, it’s not something you enjoy, so you just have to bite the bullet and do it.”
Farnan drank the gallon between Sunday night and Monday morning prior to his surgery on Monday afternoon.
“We drove to Bergan Mercy, entered the procedure center, walked up to the front desk, and I said, ‘I’m here to check-in.’ There was some stuttering and stuttering, and they said, ‘Today, all procedures have been canceled.'”
Farnan claims he never received a phone call or email regarding the cancellation of his operation. The woman at the front desk informed him that due to an IT security issue, they were unable to access anyone’s information in order to notify them of cancellations.
“Stunned,” Farnan adds. “Absolutely, unequivocally dumbfounded.”
CHI Health stated in a statement to 6 News that it is taking steps to minimize interruptions and that the event forced the provider to take offline certain systems, including electronic health information, to preserve patient privacy.
The statement reads, “We take our obligation to protect our patients’ privacy and IT security very seriously.”
However, sufferers such as Farnan are frustrated.
“I have no idea why CHI lacks a backup. I’m unhappy they spent $23 million on a building’s naming rights but have no backup computer system.”
“I’m really irritated that there must have been a large number of out-of-town patients who received the same response as I did,” he says. “I’m sure they were older, their schedules weren’t flexible, they had to impose on family members, and then they were told, ‘Merry Christmas, your procedure is canceled.'”
He is grateful that his appointment was not urgent, but that does not imply it was not important to others.
“I’m sure there were others with far more important difficulties than mine, and I can return, but this will take two days, you’ll need to spend a day preparing, and you won’t be able to do anything on the day you receive it.”
Farnan estimates that he won’t undergo the operation until next year. According to him, it took four months to schedule this appointment.
Farnan reported that he has not gotten a phone contact or notice from his provider as of Tuesday evening.
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