Milestone: OMC’s information technology team lauded for efforts during outage

Representatives from Olympic Medical Center (OMC) recently acknowledge the efforts of four dedicated employees who demonstrated commitment and expertise during the internet and fiber-optic services outage caused by Lumen Technologies in November 2023.

The hospital’s board of commissioners recognized four of these team members for their contributions at a recent meeting: senior technical engineer Roger Sanders; senior systems administrators Stephen Camp and Doug Nevill, and clinical informatics manager Alberta Stamp.

The outage on Nov. 16, 2023, severely disrupted internet and fiber-optic services in Port Angeles, affecting numerous organizations and residents, including OMC, hospital officials said. As a result, OMC’s electronic medical records systems were offline for nearly 36 hours, significantly impacting staff workflow in both clinical and hospital settings.

In response to the prolonged outage, the IT team at OMC took decisive action to mitigate the impact on patient care. OMC IT manager Sean Johnson said that “when the Lumen downtime extended past the 16-hour mark with no predictable end in sight, we made the decision to start building a new VPN connection with Providence.”

Typically, such a task would require two to three months of focused work involving multiple engineers, OMC officials said, but Sanders worked over the next 12 hours to build the VPN, which was ready for testing by 6 p.m. the following day.

Camp played a crucial role in ensuring telephone services were properly transitioned to Sequim, OMC officials said despite the ongoing roll-out of a new phone system. Meanwhile, Nevill provided assistance in addressing complicated interface issues, server-related concerns and printing throughout the event.

Stamp led her team in following proper downtime procedures and meticulously testing Epic workflows, ensuring a seamless transition back to normal operations, OMC officials said.