Centralis Health Finds Solution to Healthcare System Network Outages

Regional Health Information Exchange Proves To Be  Reliable System for Preventing Downtime Losses

 Tallahassee, Fla., November 14, 2023 – Centralis Health has shown how an active Health Information Exchange (HIE) can enable healthcare systems and providers to continue delivering patient care during network outages.

A robust, regional HIE can provide another layer of connectivity and access among providers, payers, and patients. This means healthcare operations involving the access of patient information can continue seamlessly during network failures, electronic health record (EHR) outages, and cyberattacks.

“HIEs are more than just a means for connecting healthcare systems and providers,” said Katie Bradley, Centralis’s director of operations. “They provide a critical redundancy, allowing providers to access patient data via the cloud or through other HIE member systems.”

EHRs have revolutionized the healthcare industry as a tool for enhancing patient care. But similar to any electronic system, they can go down. A recent CyberMDX study finds that midsize hospital outages last an average of 10 hours, at a cost of more than $47,500 per hour. More importantly, unplanned EHR downtime poses a risk to patient care and safety.

Centralis proved earlier this year that a robust HIE can provide hospitals and providers with necessary access to patient data and ensure that referral processes continue unimpeded.

In February, cyber criminals attacked Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH), preventing the hospital system from accessing its EHR, emails, servers, and even fax machines. The hospital system leveraged its participation in Centralis Health’s HIE, and within 48 hours, it was able to access medical records, connect with patients and other providers, and support patient care.

TMH’s systems were not fully functional until 10 days later.

“We’ve long promoted regional HIEs as a key component to achieving full healthcare interoperability,” said Bradley. “This incident demonstrates another critical benefit for participating providers. As a regional HIE, we are proud to play a role in ensuring that patients can get the care they need, when they need it, even during a network outage.”

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