A new laboratory computer system at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center failed last Tuesday, creating a backlog of blood tests and forcing the hospital to turn away ambulances for part of Wednesday and Thursday. The system apparently became overloaded shortly after it was turned on for the first time and stopped communicating with the test-processing machine, the Associated Press reported. Most of the problems were resolved by last Thursday. The county is spending $22 million to install the laboratory system at its five acute-care hospital; implementation at another hospital was less problematic, the AP said. No deaths or serious injuries resulted, but some treatment was delayed and some treatment decisions were based on educated guesses, according to officials. -- by Tony Fong
New lab system creates troubles at L.A. County-USC
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