Beth Israel Deaconess System Down for 4 Days

Again thanks to Slashdot for the pointer to this article about a 4 day outage of the computer system at Beth Israel Deaconess which the hospital seems to be open about and which made the staff revert to forms that had not been used in 6 years: ‘The crash surprised experts in the field because most disaster planners mainly worry about backing up hard drives and building redundant servers. But in this case, it wasn’t those repositories of information that were in trouble. It was the network itself – the ”pipes” that carry the information from one place to the other. It was like when at busy times at the office, your e-mail slows down – only so bad that everything ceased to function…’ An alternative scenario: during tropical storm Allison in June of 2001, which flooded the sprawling Houston medical center, all patients had to be evacuated from Memorial-Hermann hospital to another hospital. Both physical records could not be transferred easily and computer records couldn’t either because the hospital computer systems were (still are?) incompatible.

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