Surgeries cancelled and patients told to avoid going to Rotorua and Taupo hospitals after fire

Patients heading to Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals should expect delays, as Lakes DHB staff are struggling to access ...
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Patients heading to Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals should expect delays, as Lakes DHB staff are struggling to access electronic patient records.

A fire at Rotorua Hospital has cut access to electronically-stored patient records.

Surgeries have been cancelled and patients are being told to avoid going to Rotorua and Taupo hospitals unless it was an emergency after the fire on Monday morning.

Patients heading to facilities in the Lakes DHB region should expect delays, as staff work to recover the data, communication manager Sue Wilkie said.

Taupo Hospital is also affected by the fire.
STEPH RANGI/FAIRFAX NZ

Taupo Hospital is also affected by the fire.

Access to patient records could be impacts for up to a week.

The fire broke out inside the Lakes DHB computer server room, which is housed within a stand-alone structure on Rotorua Hospital grounds.

Communication manager Sue Wilkie said patients should expect delays at facilities across the Lakes DHB region, including Rotorua and Taupo hospitals.

"The elective surgeries [planned] for [Tuesday] have largely been cancelled.

"We're looking at the patient lists and contacting everyone," she said.

"We are warning people that if they're presenting at Taupo or Rotorua, there could be delays.

"We're letting them know we're struggling to get things in order."

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Heath staff were taking care when dealing with existing patients, given the chance crucial patient information might not be available to staff, Wilkie said.

"It can present a considerable risk, which is why we're being careful."

Phone systems at both hospitals are working – however, callers to Rotorua Hospital will not be able to leave a voice message, she said.

Some staff were unable to access their emails, she said.

Wilkie said IT specialists would soon be arriving on-site to assess the damage.

It was possible that the computer system might not be online for several days, she said.

Unless it was an emergency, Wilkie advised people against presenting at either hospital's emergency department.

Instead, people seeking treatment should visit their local medical centre or GP.

In addition to the hospitals, the computer issues are also affecting services offered by the child development team, Mental Health services and the Lakes Needs Assessment Service Coordination.

* For any urgent queries, call Rotorua Hospital on 07 348 1199

 - Stuff

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