What is a Downtime Event at a Hospital?

18 April 2024

AUTHORED BY: DB Technology

A hospital’s essence lies in providing continuous care for patients’ health and well-being. Yet, in today’s digital era, hospitals heavily rely on intricate electronic systems for data management and efficiency. Despite advanced technology in healthcare, hospitals face downtime, which can lead to significant consequences. Understanding downtime is crucial for healthcare professionals, administrators, and patients who depend on a top-performing system.

Understanding Downtime Events

A downtime event is an unplanned disruption in a hospital’s electronic systems, including Electronic Health Records (EHR) and clinical software. Events range from minor glitches to major cyber attacks or hardware failures lasting hours or days.

Common Causes of Downtime Events

  • Software Glitches: Even thoroughly tested software can have bugs and errors. Glitches can happen because of updates, integration problems, or the software’s complexity.
  • Hardware Failures: The physical components that support digital systems can degrade, malfunction, or fail, which can lead to significant downtime as hospitals work to restore operations.
  • Cyber Attacks: In an era of ransomware and cyber threats, hospitals are prime targets. These attacks can turn off systems and steal or corrupt data, leading to downtime and risking patient confidentiality.
  • Scheduled Maintenance: Essential updates and maintenance may occasionally result in system downtime, causing interruptions in the workflow of healthcare providers.

Frequency and Duration of Downtime Events in Healthcare Settings

Downtime events vary in frequency and duration but are not uncommon. HIMSS reports average downtime lasting 16 to 30 hours. These interruptions present a significant challenge to patient care due to critical decisions made on electronic platforms.

Impact on Patient Care

A downtime event in a hospital can have far-reaching implications, directly impacting patient care from diagnosis to post-care services.

  • Disrupted Access to Electronic Health Records: EHR systems store a patient’s medical history. Inaccessibility can lead to missed details affecting diagnosis and treatment.
  • Medication Management Challenges: Downtime can cause confusion in medication orders and delays in administering necessary drugs.
  • Delayed Lab Results Access: Quick access to lab results is crucial for care decisions. Downtime may extend patient stays and limit hospital capacity.
  • Risks to Patient Safety: Inability to access vital information can lead to errors, impacting safety and care continuity.

dbtech Downtime Solution

The Downtime Solution from dbtech offers comprehensive protection against EHR and network downtimes in medical facilities. Features include printing barcoded wristbands, accessing patient data, and enabling electronic data entry to streamline recovery processes and boost team confidence. With a bi-directional electronic data interface for real-time updates, the solution ensures efficient management of downtime situations, enhancing operational resilience.

Case Study

St. Joseph’s Health in NJ, implemented the dbtech Downtime Solution  to address challenges during downtime events. The hospital system, with nearly 1,000 beds, faced issues with manual data entry and recovery processes, impacting patient access and bed management. With dbtech Downtime Solution, this organization improved recovery efficiency, reducing downtime event recovery time and enhancing patient care with eForms. Their trust in dbtech Downtime stemmed from its distinctive capabilities and favorable encounter with dbtech, underscoring its flexibility and customer-centric approach.

Contact dbtech To Discover How Our Downtime Solutions Will Benefit Your Organization

Understanding and preparing for downtime events is crucial for hospitals to maintain patient care standards. By leveraging solutions like those offered by dbtech, hospitals can ensure that even in the face of system disruptions, patient safety and operational efficiency remain paramount. Enhance your resilience, and contact dbtech to learn more about hospital downtime solutions.

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