The Southern District Health Board's computer system,
which collapsed early yesterday morning, is operational again.
"Clinical systems are back to normal with minimal
disruption," medical director of patient services Richard
Bunton said this afternoon.
"We want to thank patients for their understanding and a huge
thank you to all our staff who have worked around this."
There were fears the computer system's collapse could affect
elective surgery and other procedures at Dunedin Hospital.
However, Mr Bunton said today elective surgery was not
affected by the IT failure.
"Elective surgery was not postponed at all over the two
days," he said.
The failure of IT equipment meant file information could not
be accessed, but that did not directly impede medical
procedures including operations, he said.
The failure came after it was revealed last week that more
than 3800 Southland Hospital mammograms were lost as a result
of an IT failure.
Yesterday, Mr Bunton disputed a claim from Dunedin North MP
and Labour associate health spokesman David Clark that the
failure had put patient lives at risk and was a result of
Dr Clark's claims were ''scare-mongering and scandalous'', he
''I am not minimising it. It is slowing things down, but it's
not putting people at risk.''
Asked if the public could have confidence in the DHB's IT
system given the latest failure and the earlier loss of
mammograms, he said: ''I would think so.
"We do invest a lot in terms of having the appropriate
equipment and it being upgraded. We believe it is [up to
scratch], but I guess the public can't help but draw their
IT workers ''right up to the top folk at IBM'' were working
round the clock to get the system online.
Mr Bunton did not feel qualified to answer technical
questions about why it might have failed. The server was
''rebooting'' and given its size this could take some time.
Dr Clark released a statement yesterday afternoon saying the
collapse put patients' lives at risk and was symptomatic of
cost-cutting across the health sector.
''Patient lives are at risk. Clinical leaders have been
unable to access lab results, clinical notes, patient contact
details, diaries and operating rosters, let alone
communication tools like email.''
Health Minister Tony Ryall had placed ''so much pressure on
DHBs that they are in survival mode''.