Eastern Health Provides Update on Services Affected by IT Systems Outage

November 5, 2021 – St. John’s, NL: Eastern Health remains focused on the delivery of emergency and urgent care throughout the weekend and into early next week while supporting the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information and other experts to bring health-care and clinical systems back online in a safe and controlled manner.

Emergency and urgent services in acute care facilities, as well as some services that do not rely on IT systems required for blood collection, medical imaging or pharmacy services, will proceed over the weekend and into early next week (Saturday, November 6; Sunday, November 7 and Monday, November 8, 2021).

Patients and clients will be contacted directly if their appointment is going ahead. If patients and clients have not been contacted directly, they should assume that their appointments have been cancelled. Eastern Health is working through a process to reschedule appointments based on clinical priority, and is starting to work on scheduling some surgeries and procedures that can be performed safely.

In addition, referrals sent to Eastern Health via fax may not have been received since October 30, 2021. Eastern Health recommends an alternative means of communications be used to forward referrals until further notice.

Community-based services continue to be available through our community offices as well as chemotherapy appointments at reduced capacity and some mental health and addictions services, including DoorWays walk-in counselling services.

For a list of services affected, patients can visit the IT Systems Outage webpage at www.easternhealth.ca/it-systems-outage/service-impacts/ for up-to-date service information. Patients who have questions regarding appointments, procedures and surgeries scheduled for this time period may call the temporary patient inquiries line: 1-833-777-1276.

Eastern Health recognizes the impacts to patients, clients and residents and we apologize for the inconvenience.

We also thank the public for their continued patience, recognizing that many services may experience unexpected or unavoidable delays, as Eastern Health staff work diligently to adjust processes to ensure patient safety.

Patients who have any questions about their health, should contact their health provider directly.

If patients feel there has been a change in their health status, they should contact their physician or nurse practitioner for an appointment. Patients who do not have a family doctor or a regular health provider can call the 811 NL Health Line (811 / TTY 1-888-709-3555) to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week about any health issue or concern.

Individuals who are experiencing an emergency should proceed to the nearest emergency department, or call 911 for an ambulance. Those who are experiencing a mental health crisis should call 709-737-4668 or toll-free at 1-888-737-4668.

We are committed to keeping the public informed about this unanticipated disruption in services. Updates will be provided as information becomes available via Eastern Health’s website at www.easternhealth.ca and social media platforms, Facebook (www.facebook.com/EasternHealthNL) and Twitter (@EasternHealthNL).

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Last updated: 2021-11-05