Auckland, Northland hospital computer systems within minutes of failing report

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17 July 2018

Phil Pennington - Radio New Zealand

Computer systems serving Auckland and Northland’s public hospitals were within four minutes of failing, according to an internal health board report.

This followed a power cut at Middlemore Hospital just after lunch on an unspecified date in September last year, said a hospital advisory committee report of March 2018 released under the Official Information Act to RNZ.

“Power went out … causing the hospital to go dark. Backup generators subsequently failed to come online.”

The hospital’s back-up battery system, called an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS, kicked in to provide essential power during the 18-minute-long power cut, the report from the Facilities Manager of the Counties Manukau District Health Board said.

But it wasn’t just the South Auckland hospital affected.

It shares computer services with the other three DHBs in the northern region – Auckland, Waitematā, and Northland – under a Crown agency called healthAlliance.

HealthAlliance later told Counties it had only 20 minutes of battery back-up power to the computer rooms and data centres of all the Northern Region DHBs, and by the time the generators kicked in late, time was very tight, the report said.

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