Union Physician Services Working To Minimize Patient Inconveniences Due To National Computer Issue

A nationwide interruption of services provided by the electronic health record company Allscripts is affecting the operations of routine patient services in nearly all of the offices of Union Physician Services (UPS) in Tuscarawas County.

Union Hospital, which owns and operates the UPS network, is not affected by the Allscripts problems. All UPS medical offices except for East Ohio Orthopaedics in Dover are unable to access complete patient records until the Allscripts issues have been resolved and the service is restored.

UPS officials were notified by Allscripts last Thursday (Jan. 18) about the nationwide interruption of services. All of the UPS offices are open.

The UPS offices affected include the family practices of UPS Family Health Center North at Dover, UPS Central on the campus of Union Hospital, Alpine Family Medicine at Sugarcreek, and Newcomerstown UPS; and UPS Regional Surgical Specialists, UPS Dermatology and UPS Neurology, all on the hospital campus.

As a result, the affected UPS offices only have limited access to patient medical records, said Darrin Lautenschleger, Director of Community Relations for Union Hospital. In response to the Allscripts system being inaccessible for routine uses, UPS offices have had to cancel and reschedule appointments with patients, but are continuing to provide services for immediate medical care.

For those patients affected by cancellations, a UPS staff member will contact them by telephone to alert them of the cancellation. UPS staff members also have been coordinating with patients and area pharmacies to ensure prescriptions are being filled timely and accurately, along with other patient-related tasks, he said.

“UPS is one of more than 2,500 healthcare systems representing 7.3 million patients around the country that relies on the Allscripts network for its patient data and support,” Lautenschleger said. “We want to apologize to our patients and their families for the inconvenience this may be causing them, and we will continue to follow up with patients to fulfill their ongoing needs until the services are fully restored. 

A timeline of when the services will be restored has not been made available. Allscripts is stressing that no individual patient information has been compromised, he said.

“Our providers and staff members at the UPS offices have performed admirably in doing everything they can to assist patients during this Allscripts outage,” Lautenschleger said. “Staff has enacted downtime policies and procedures to ensure immediate and ongoing patient care needs are met and are available to respond to any question or concern.” 

UPS and Union Hospital staff are diligently monitoring the situation, he added.

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