Alberta Health Services says network outage resolved

AHS officials say services are 'carefully being restored' with priority given to critical care areas, such as emergency departments.

Officials say they're carefully restoring services with priority given to critical care areas

An Alberta Health Services sign on a brick building.
AHS says a network outage impacting health-care services Monday is now resolved. (David Bajer/CBC)

Health officials say a network outage affecting Alberta Health Services (AHS) has been resolved and services are "carefully being restored" with priority being given to critical patient areas, like emergency departments.

Earlier, AHS, which delivers health care across the province, said an outage was affecting some of its services. It said some elective, non-urgent surgeries were being postponed as a precaution and lab services had also been affected.

In an update Monday afternoon, the agency said the network outage was resolved. Health Link 811 is fully available and wait times are back to normal, according to a statement.

"Sites continue to use downtime procedures as systems come back online," the agency said.

"Some non-urgent surgeries were postponed as a precaution to ensure emergency and urgent surgeries could continue. We are in the process of rebooking those impacted patients.

"We are reviewing the network outage to determine root cause so that we can avoid such issues in the future. We appreciate everyone's patience."

AHS said a further update would be provided when all services have been restored.

The outage had an impact across the province.

Earlier, a senior official with AHS said doctors and staff at hospitals were using paper charts, whiteboards and phone calls to communicate with each other during the outage.

Dr. Sid Viner, vice-president and medical director for clinical operations with AHS, said the computer systems were largely down in hospitals.

But he added health-care workers are well-versed in downtime procedures, which are put in place when an electronic system isn't available, and staff were prioritizing urgent care for patients.

During the outage, AHS said its emergency dispatch was functioning with backup procedures and calls to 911 were not affected.

In an update on Monday night, AHS officials said they will ask a third party to review the cause of the network outage.

"The third-party review, which will begin shortly, will help us determine the root cause of the network outage and identify any improvements that will prevent such outages happening in the future," AHS said in a statement.

"There is no indication that the technical outage was caused by hacking or any form of cyber-attack."

With files from The Canadian Press