…..well maybe fewer employees and certainly fewer customers.  But there are similarities too.  My college son Patrick, who I seem to only communicate with via text messaging these days, needs to buy a book for history class by Thursday.  I’ve long since abandoned checking accounts and do all my banking online – this includes transferring cash to my needy college student.   But today, Bank of America’s online banking services are DOWN.   Of course I tried several times over an hour before Googling a ‘what’s up with BoA’ message to learn they were down.

Unless the system recovers soon I’ll have to dust off the checkbook, find Patrick’s address at school, go to a post office (during day time hours, so cutting time out of work) to buy a stamp, put in the mailbox, etc.  Patrick will get this money in two or three days, too late to buy the book but right in time for Friday Happy Hour…. (hopefully NOT but you get the point).  Certainly less efficient, time consuming, prone with the chance of errors (read bad judgement in this case).

Now what does this have to do with your Doctor?

If your Doctor’s practice, or the hospital she’s affiliated with, has deployed technologies like EMR/EHR or Practice Management, your experience has been pretty good – all your information displayed and available to your Doctor, the system helping to match any prescription being given to your health data to prevent error, any tests zipped off electronically with all the pertinent data to a specialist, on and on.

But if they are like Bank of America today let’s hope you don’t have an appointment.

The Doctor’s systems would be down.  Your medical information, if they have back up paper records at all, is probably not current or correct.  The productivity of the office staff and Doctor is way down.  Appointments are being cancelled or delayed for hours and you’re waiting a long time to be seen, if at all.  God forbid you are given a prescription and your information is incorrect, creating the chance of mistakes, but you can see all this is possible.

Bank of America has the best IT staff and the best technology yet they’re experience downtime – in fact the second major outage in the past six weeks.

As much as downtime has an impact on banking customers, it has far greater impact in healthcare – which is why in-patient and ambulatory care facilities, large or small, all need to consider Stratus Uptime Assurance solutions to reduce the risk of downtime.