Once unplugged, VA medical system needed a year to re-connect

A VA information technology employee and a vendor unplugged the treatment system's network connection in the course of installing another system. It took a year before a new network jack was installed and the system was allowed to reconnect to the hospital network.

During that time, the hospital conducted 17 early prostate cancer surgeries, the surgeries are technically known as prostate brachytherapy. None of those patients appear to have been harmed by the system's lack of connectivity, although at one point an IT employee said that the system's disconnection was "effecting patient care."

Although the system could not receive CT scans, ultrasounds images were uploaded to the system.

At another point, a health physicist said that the system's inability to accept CT scans resulted in "an approximate three month backlog of prostate implant post plans."

The problem was relatively simple in terms of technology, but "bureaucratically complex," the IG writes.

Read more: http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/once-unplugged-va-medical-system-needed-year-re-connect/2010-05-05#ixzz0n444Jwf8

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