Sutter Health hospitals back online after network outage

Communication systems at Sutter Health recovered early Wednesday morning after a network outage that affected several Bay Area hospitals, officials reported.

The outage began at 10:30 p.m. Monday and systems were fully operating by 2 a.m. today. Sutter Health officials said the outage was caused by the activation of a fire suppression system in a data center, but they weren’t able to specify how it happened.

Sutter Health spokesman Dean Fryer said the outage was “unique” and the system hadn’t experienced a similar malfunction before.

“We’re living in an electronic world, we’re not used to operating without these tools,” Fryer said.

The outage affected 24 hospitals and dozens more clinics and outpatient centers. Sutter Health employees were unable to use phones, email and other forms of communication during the outage.

Critical hospital services like emergency rooms and live-saving devices were fully functional, Fryer said.

The hospital system is conducting a review to determine whether their “downtime procedures” during the outage were effective in serving patients.

They will also assess any financial impacts to the Sutter Health system during this process.

Appointments and surgeries will continue on a regular schedule Wednesday and Fryer said there is a minimal backlog in services after the outage.

Sutter Health operates California Pacific Medical Center’s Davies Campus and St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco

-Supriya Yelimeli, Bay City News

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