Tuesday, June 9, 2015

V.A. Hospital - risk of shutdown?

This morning I went to the V.A. hospital in Columbia, S.C. for a routine blood draw. The lab was not operating, and about 40-50 people were waiting (like sheep) for the "system" to come back up. All that the employees would say was that the system was "down" and they couldn't read lab orders.

I waited ten minutes and left. On the way back home CNN radio carried a report about hacking of the Army records yesterday (not the 4,000,000 records reported hacked last week, allegedly by China). CNN.com doesn't not have any news about this, and the Chicago Tribune is silent.

If you don't talk about something, does that mean it's not happening?

All this caused me to wonder about records redundancy and what happens in a major hospital when "systems" go down. If a patient needs medication but nurses can't read a chart and obtain an order, will the patient just die?

Usually there are only 7-8 people waiting at 7:00AM, so I knew something was up when I walked in. The lab employees at the Dorn V.A. Medical Center are great; sometimes, they will come into the lobby to collect the next person, instead of waiting for his number to be announced. But today, without the "system", there was nothing they could do.

Just how vulnerable are we in the U.S. to hacking?


Big Daddy said...

Gus, a little off topic for which I apologize, but how do you like living down south as opposed to living up here?

Gus said...

Much better. It's new and different.