UK Healthcare computer problem creates longer wait times, leaves ER staff scrambling

Posted at 1:34 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 21:31:13-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A computer system problem within UK Healthcare created quite a mess on Monday.

EMS patients had to be diverted to other hospitals, and emergency room patients say administrators and nurses were scrambling to get people registered by hand.

“We got into the room, they came in with paper and pencil and I was like okay that's a little different because normally they roll in the cart with the computer,” said Bridget Williams.

Williams says she took her son to be treated at UK's Pediatric Emergency Center. She says staff members told her their computer system was down, and they asked her to be patient.

“I was really surprised to see that it was hospital wide, it wasn't just ER specific, it wasn't one department or the other,” said Williams.

UK Healthcare officials say the issues came up on Monday morning after a routine software update.

We're told employees are unable to register patients electronically, and EMS patients are being re-routed to other hospitals.

Williams says ER wait times definitely seemed longer, but she understands why.

“They were having to run to various parts of the hospital, our nurse went to the lab specifically to get my sons results, walked there herself. And the doctor had to go over to radiology to read the results herself because normally they'd just pull them up on the computer,” said Williams.

Williams tells us the doctors and nurses were covering a lot of ground.

“I said to our nurse ‘you're definitely getting your steps today’, she said ‘I already met my steps and by the time I leave here I'll probably double what I'd normally have.’ And that's insane,” said Williams.

While UK Healthcare officials don't have a timeline for when the problem will be fixed, Williams hopes that until then, people will cut the hospital staff some slack.

“They were all very cordial and very nice no one got nasty or snippy. Even though you could tell that they were frustrated. My son still got excellent care, he still got the care that he went there to get. That was not compromised at all,” said Williams.

UK Healthcare officials say their staff and employees from an outside vendor are working to get things resolved as soon as possible.