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Answer Line: Longview Regional computer systems are back online

Nov. 3, 2017 at 11:38 p.m.

QUESTION: What happened at Longview Regional Medical Center? The family center's computers have been down for about two weeks. Patients are not getting their appointments taken care of. I also heard from a friend that he was unable to get a surgery scheduled because the system's down. What happened? (Answer Line is combining a couple of questions received about the situation at Longview Regional).

ANSWER: The hospital encountered an issue Oct. 22 during a planned downtime of Longview Regional's clinical system. The downtime was scheduled "to upgrade hard drives to increase capacity," according to a statement the hospital issued from Casey Robertson, Regional's chief executive officer.

"Prior to the upgrade, a comprehensive backup was being performed. It was detected during the backup process that there was a potential problem with a file," he said this week. "As a precaution some portions of the hospital's clinical system were placed on downtime procedures to insure the integrity of all system functions. Existing downtime procedures were in place and exercised on each unit, which allowed the continuation of quality care for our patients. The issue has been identified and resolved. Longview Regional's clinical system is fully functional."

I asked specifically about systems at Diagnostic Clinic of Longview and QuickCare, and hospital spokeswoman Libby Bryson said they were not affected.

"The system downtime was hospital only. No clinic patients were affected. Longview Regional Medical Center sincerely apologizes to any patients who have had difficulties and encourage them to call us at (903) 232-3703 so we can help resolve their concerns."

Q: Recently, I found a wallet in front of the Walmart on Gilmer Road. I took it to customer service at the store and gave it to them. I'm curious about their policy. Do they attempt to find the owner, or do they wait for the owner to call?

A: A company spokeswoman told me there's not a companywide policy. Store managers "handle items at their discretion," she said, so there's variation from store to store. That said, the spokeswoman checked with the Longview store and learned that if the wallet provided some way to find the owner, the store would attempt to contact that person. If no one claims the wallet after about a year, it and the sensitive items in it, such as credit cards, will be destroyed. Any unclaimed cash would be donated to charity, she said.

Q: Who is responsible for maintaining the sign board between McDonald's and Olive Garden on Loop 281? It is ragged, torn and a blight on the area.

A: The city has an ordinance requiring signs to be maintained. When I contacted City of Longview Development Services Director Michael Shirley about this sign, he forwarded the concern to the appropriate city staff person to send a letter to the sign's owner.

For future reference, you can always report signs that have fallen out of maintenance by using the city's mobile or online reporting system, CitySend. Find information about that at longviewtexas.gov/2282/CitySend -- Submit-Requests-Stay-Informed.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.



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