Medicine in the Stone Age, Almost

By | April 3, 2012

The failure of one of these units nearly took Schlesinger Pain Centers back into the Stone Age.

I would like to take a break from our search for the best pain clinic in Los Angeles and the importance of the diagnostic process to examine what happens when a modern totally electronic medical office loses power. This is exactly what happened yesterday at Schlesinger Pain Centers. I was sitting in the office yesterday morning at about 8:30 doing paper work when an alarm went off. I traced the noise back to our computer area, but couldn’t find the exact source. I went back to my desk and found to my shock and horror that I had lost connection to the Internet, to the practice’s main servers and worst of all we had lost our phone system.  Luckily we still had power to the coffee pot. When Tony and Maria came in about ten minutes later we began to assess the extent of the problem. Luckily since it was Monday morning our phones were still forwarded to Maria’s phone so we were still able to get incoming calls, albeit one at a time. I activated the Virgin Mobile hotspot that I always carry with me, reestablishing Internet contact to some of our computers, albeit at 3G speeds as opposed to T1. At this point Tony and I returned to the computer cabinet and isolated the source of the problem as a faulty surge protector/backup battery. Before I dispatched Tony to Fry’s Electronics to buy a new battery unit we moved the phone system temporarily to wall current. An hour later after installing the new surge protector/back up battery and resetting some switches with the help of our IT guy we were once again fully functional. I was very proud of the way that the staff handled the situation. We continued to see patients in between trouble shooting and repairing the electronic crisis. Care was never compromised and we never fell more than 30 minutes behind, which would be good even on a normal day. It’s good to know that all of the plans and back-up systems really work, but I would be willing to wait several years before putting them to the test again.


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