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Electronic Health Records at 26 Hospitals Hit by Two-Hour Outage

Universal Health Services blames "technical issues" at data center provider Cerner for the downtime.

Myah Ward (Bloomberg) -- Hospital operator Universal Health Services Inc. said electronic health records at 26 facilities were affected by technical problems at a data center run by Cerner Corp., an information technology company.

Universal, which manages more than 350 health-care facilities in the U.S. and U.K., declined to specify the technical issues or say how many patient records were affected. The problem lasted for less than two hours and the affected hospitals have returned to normal operations, said Eric Goodwin, chief information officer of the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based company.

A Cerner system used by Abrazo Community Health Network in Phoenix experienced a multiday outage last week following a routine update, according to the publication Becker’s Hospital Review. Misti Preston, a spokeswoman for North Kansas City, Missouri-based Cerner, said Friday’s malfunction was unrelated to last week’s outage in Arizona.

In Friday’s incident, “read only” copies of electronic medical records weren’t affected and were still available during the breakdown. Preston said no other clients were affected by the latest incident.

“Functionality has been restored after a client experienced a brief issue today caused by a technical configuration,” Preston said in a statement. “We immediately worked with the client to bring data back online.”

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