August 21, 2023

EMR: Downtime and Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

When the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) goes live, there may be planned downtime for system maintenance and in the unlikely event of unplanned downtime.

To ensure we continue providing quality patient care and keep our patients safe during downtime, wards will be equipped with downtime boxes and 724 laptops as a part of the Business Continuity Planning (BCP).

In case of downtime (Code Yellow), an announcement will be made via Public Announcement. When you hear “EMR go to downtime packs”, locate the 724 downtime device and the EMR downtime box.

The laptop will show a subset of historical patient data and will display data up to the point when the EMR became unavailable. It is important that you:

  • Never shut down the 724 downtime laptop
  • Never disconnect the data cable
  • Perform daily routine checks

When the EMR is unavailable, areas affected will return to paper documentation. The downtime boxes will contain relevant forms and paperwork to allow staff to record patient information. The box will be located on units or wards. Each area will have one box that contains 24 hours’ worth of paperwork.

The downtime box will be managed by unit managers. If restocking of forms and paperwork is required, this will be liaised with ward clerks and Health Information Services.

To identify patients that are back on paper documentation, their wristbands will be replaced by ‘downtime wristbands’.

Post downtime, there will be a notification to inform staff that the EMR is back on. From there, staff will perform retrospective documentation, such as entering new medications, FBC information, new and ceased medication etc. To aid you in this process, you can follow the instructions on the action cards.

The downtime boxes and devices are being rolled out to inpatient locations progressively throughout August. Make sure you find the time to familiarise yourself with the box location, downtime box instructions and checklist.

Featured image (left to right): Avon Ong, ED Equipment Nurse, Hannah Dozzi, EMR Analyst, Teneille Holland, ED Clinical Nurse Unit Manager, Sarai Abel, EMR Application Manager.