Province-wide computer outage affecting all health care systems restored: Shared Health

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said a computer system outage across Manitoba that caused some longer wait times and affected all health care systems is largely back to normal Saturday.

A WRHA spokesperson said the outage started Thursday morning and affected the whole province.

“Everything from payroll, electronic patient records, to ambulance dispatch dashboards, the emergency room patient tracking system,” said the spokesperson Saturday in a phone call with CTV News.

The spokespersons said staff reverted to using paper for everything and extra staff volunteered to input the data into the system.

The outage affected hospitals, personal care homes, clinics and home care departments.

“This has not been seen on this scale,” said a WRHA spokesperson.

The spokesperson said IT crews worked on the problem all day and overnight Thursday and people came into to work to help get the systems back online.

“I understand was most of it was largely fixed by Friday morning,” the spokesperson said, adding there were still some lingering issues that needed to be sorted out Friday.

A spokesperson for Shared Health said the majority of the system was restored on Thursday afternoon and the full system was back online Friday.

‘Error in backup’: Shared Health

In an email to CTV News Saturday afternoon, Shared Health attributed the cause of the outage to an error in the backup.

“Computers are a core piece of our infrastructure. Our systems are world class and regularly refreshed. They include built in backups to ensure that outages typically have little to no impact to users. In this instance, an error in the backup meant that it did not immediately kick in,” said a spokesperson for Shared Health.

“All systems have now been restored,” the spokesperson said.

‘Longer wait times in certain cases’: WRHA

The WRHA spokesperson said due to the outage there were longer wait times in certain cases.

“Just because of the manual recording of data on paper. Anyone who needed care, still got care,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson said although it was a longer than usual wait for some patients, anyone that came to the hospital got care.

“Nobody was denied care because of this,” the spokesperson said.

Some ambulances were redirected, but that’s not unusual from one facility to another, the spokesperson said.

The media was not given a heads up about the problem because of the election rules, the spokesperson said.

The WRHA said it posted a notice on it’s website about the outage.