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How hospitals are coping

March 29, 1999

Y2K preparations at Tri-State area hospitals:




Washington County Hospital

Hagerstown

Planning began in 1995. Committee was formed in summer 1997.

Deadline for compliance: March 31. Officials say they will not meet the deadline but will be Y2K-ready by the end of April.

Steps taken: Spent a little more than $2 million and 4,191 hours on Y2K projects. Inventoried 2,500 pieces of biomedical equipment. Replaced or upgraded information systems. Finished 98 percent of testing. Hired two full-time employees on a temporary basis for Y2K fine-tuning. Each department must submit contingency plans by April 5.

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Chambersburg (Pa.) Hospital

and Waynesboro (Pa.) Hospital

Planning began in March 1998.

Deadline for compliance: June 30.

Steps taken: Spent $2.5 million to $4 million. Inventoried 15,000 items, including 8,300 that were date-relevant. Assigned 209 projects, 56 percent of which have been performed and tested. Some manufacturers have performed upgrades and repairs as part of service contracts with the hospitals.

Fulton County Medical Center

McConnellsburg, Pa.

Planning began in 1997.

Deadline for compliance: July 1.

Steps taken: Replaced information management and telephone systems. Checked all other equipment. Now testing machines and software, as well as writing contingency plans.

City Hospital

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Planning began in October 1997.

Deadline for compliance: July 31.

Steps taken: Contacted 5,200 suppliers, insurers and manufacturers. Have completed 70 percent of work. Hospital is considering canceling elective surgery near New Year's Day. Will schedule all managers and supervisors to work on New Year's weekend.

Jefferson Memorial Hospital

Ranson, W.Va.

Date started: Early 1998

Deadline for compliance: July 1, 1999

Steps taken: Inventoried 900 items. Those that have Y2K problems have been upgraded or replaced. Remediation is finished as well as some of the testing.

Drawing up contingency plans.

War Memorial Hospital

Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Planning began in May 1998. A task force has been working since last fall.

Deadline for compliance: Within the next few months.

Steps taken: Analyzed and corrected problems in computer software systems and biomedical devices. Testing of medical equipment is 90 percent finished. Planning Y2K disaster drill for summer. Will staff hospital as if it were a regular weekday instead of a weekend holiday. Will have extra employees on call in case of an emergency.

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