Noordwest and Dijklander are struggling with ‘outage’: registration columns flat and no video consultations


ALKMAAR – Anyone visiting the hospitals of the Noordwest Hospital Group in Alkmaar and Den Helder and the Dijklander locations this morning cannot use the registration pillars at the entrances to the buildings due to a malfunction. Because patient records are inaccessible due to the same malfunction, video consultations cannot take place either. It is expected that everything will work again tomorrow morning.

Northwest Hospital Group

“Due to a malfunction, the registration columns do not work,” said a spokesperson for the Northwest Hospital Group. “That problem is caused by problems with our third-party databases.”

That supplier is ICTZ. According to a spokesperson for that company, the problems at the Northwest Hospital Group are not caused by a DDoS attack, as a spokesman for the St. Jans Gasthuis in Weert, Limburg, reported this morning.

A distributed denial-of-service attack (DDOS) is the deliberate bombardment of a server with information from a large number of locations simultaneously, causing the servers of the attacked company to crash.

“We host at a data center,” said the ICTZ spokesperson. “That data center is supplied by a provider, and that provider is facing problems.” ICTZ does not want to say which provider it concerns. She confirms that online communication with patients is not possible due to the outage, but that necessary care ‘can continue to be provided’.

Register at counters

The fact that the registration kiosks do not work means that hospital visitors with an appointment at an outpatient clinic do not have to register digitally (with their ID), but at the counter.

Counter staff are therefore busier and more people speak face-to-face. Nevertheless, she believes earlier measures are sufficient to minimize the risk of transmission of the corona virus. “At the counters there are mudguards and there are stripes on the floor to keep people away.”

The pillars in the hospitals in Alkmaar and Den Helder were introduced in 2018 to promote circulation in the hospital. The registration columns prevent queues from forming at the counters of the various outpatient clinics.

Patient files inaccessible

In addition to the registration columns, the malfunction also has consequences for the patient file and the care provider file. The patient file is inaccessible, which means that patients temporarily have no access to their data and GPs do not have access to information entered into the patient files by the Northwest Hospital Group.

“Video consultations also go through the patient file”, the spokesperson explains. “That is why we are now trying to do it by phone, but with a picture it is better.” It is not yet known how long the failure will persist.

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