Samaritan CEO Thanks Staff

Dear Colleagues:

I want to take this opportunity to express my pride and appreciation for your phenomenal response to yesterday’s Code 99 (Server Downtime). Time and time again, your unified and focused efforts to ensure the safety of our patients, especially in a crisis situation like this, are commendable. Your calm attitudes and patient-focused actions and decisions ensured that not one patient was harmed or negatively affected during such a challenging situation. These actions embody the Samaritan values and our mission to provide high quality, comprehensive, safe and compassionate healthcare to our community.

To recap the situation, the cooling system failed in the data center where all of our computer servers are stored. The temperature in the room rose to a level that an alert about the rising temperature was sent to IT and facilities, who responded immediately. However, due to the record heat we were experiencing yesterday, the temperature in the room rose quickly to a level (exceeding 100 degrees) that triggered the servers to automatically shut down.

This shut-down resulted in loss of access to many of our systems, most importantly our patients’ electronic medical records and medication administration information. Downtime procedures were immediately activated but were made more complicated without access to critical information that we would have had in a planned downtime situation. The uncertainty related to the timeframe to restore this information was an added factor. Despite all of the challenges you were faced with, you remained calm and focused on our patients and on resolving the situation as quickly as possible. We brought systems on line much faster than we anticipated, thanks to your efforts.

Some of you have asked if we have a back-up plan for our data and servers. We do. Our first back-up plan is to go to downtime procedures, which we did. Next would have been to activate the back-up servers that store our data at an off-site location. This process would have taken several hours (12-18 or more), which was longer than we anticipated it would take to restore the servers here in the hospital. So we made the decision to not activate the off-site servers.

Now that the crisis part of the situation is behind us, please take a few moments to look back at your efforts and the efforts of hundreds of your colleagues, and be proud of what you accomplished for our patients and each other. I am deeply grateful to work alongside such a professional and talented team of caregivers whose dedication to our patients is unwavering.

Thank you!
Tom Carman
President & CEO