26 hospitals hit by two-hour outage of their Cerner EHRs

Hospital operator Universal Health Services said electronic health records at 26 facilities were affected Friday by technical problems at a data center run by Cerner.

Universal, which manages more than 350 healthcare facilities in the U.S. and United Kingdom, declined to specify the technical issues or say how many patient records were affected. The problem lasted for less than two hours and the affected hospitals have returned to normal operations, said Eric Goodwin, chief information officer of the King of Prussia, Pa.- based company.

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A Cerner system used by Abrazo Community Health Network in Phoenix experienced a multiday outage earlier this month following a routine update, according to a healthcare industry publicsation. Misti Preston, a spokeswoman for North Kansas City, Mo. -based Cerner, said Friday’s malfunction was unrelated to the recent outage in Arizona.

In Friday’s incident, “read only” copies of electronic medical records weren’t affected and were still available during the breakdown. Preston said no other clients were affected by the latest incident.

“Functionality has been restored after a client experienced a brief issue today caused by a technical configuration,” Preston said in a statement. “We immediately worked with the client to bring data back online.”