Downtime in digital hospitals

an analysis of patterns and causes over 33 months

Jessica Chen, Ying Wang, Farah Magrabi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


The use of health information technology (IT) is increasing around the world. However, as complex IT systems are implemented, new types of errors are introduced. These can disrupt workflow and care delivery, and even lead to patient harm. The purpose of this paper is to examine the patterns and causes of IT system downtime in a hospital setting. We examined all the downtime events that were recorded by a hospital IT department from February 2010 to October 2012. On average downtime disrupted care delivery for 49 hours per year with 51% of total downtime between 9 am and 5 pm. These results show that there is a need for safer design and implementation of IT systems. Further studies are required to measure the effects of downtime on care delivery and patient outcomes in digital hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrating and connecting care
Subtitle of host publicationselected papers from the 25th Australian National Health Informatics Conference, HIC 2017
EditorsAngela Ryan, Louise K. Schaper, Sue Whetton
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781614997832
ISBN (Print)9781614997825
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event25th Australian National Health Informatics Conference, HIC 2017 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 6 Aug 20179 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference25th Australian National Health Informatics Conference, HIC 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) and IOS Press 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Downtime
  • Health information technology
  • Outage
  • Patient safety

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