Patient services interrupted at Sutter Health due to computer system failure

The Sutter Health system is experiencing systemwide connectivity issues, affecting patient services at all of its 24 locations, some of which are in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The outage began at about 10:30 p.m. on Monday night, according to Sutter Health spokesman Dean Fryer. Emergency rooms are still operating normally but some surgeries and appointments have been rescheduled, according to Fryer. 

"It's been a challenge across our entire Sutter Health System," he said. "Quite frankly, this is a situation we drill for."

Doctors and nurses are currently entering patient information manually in "downtime procedures," slowing down services throughout the hospital system. Because of this, patients in urgent need will receive priority. 

Fryer said some life-sustaining technology is also affected, but life-saving and personal care systems do not rely on the internet to operate. 

The hospital's internal information services team is working to fix the outage. Phone, security systems, email and other communication methods are either completely down or partially affected, Fryer said. 

Patients are being told to arrive for their scheduled appointments unless someone has contacted them to specify otherwise. 

Fryer did not know the specific issue that caused the malfunction, but said it had to do with a "fire suppression system." He was not able to provide further information, but said support teams are working diligently and they hope to resolve the issue today.