TMH ready for Y2K

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Don't worry about being left in the cold with a health ailment this New Year's Eve because The Memorial Hospital (TMH) is prepared, according to TMH Administrator Randy Phelps.

"Operationally, we are set," Phelps said. "I think it will be a quiet and wonderful new year and everything will roll over naturally. But we would be prudent to check equipment."

Much of the TMH readiness plan was the testing of mission-critical equipment. According to Phelps, more than 70 pieces of mission-critical equipment has been tested and all computer equipment with time- and date-sensitive chips have been repaired or replaced.

"We are as prepared as we can be," Phelps said.

According to TMH Chief Financial Officer Roger White, many management information staff will be on duty during any possible Y2K problems. White also said officials will take some computer systems off-line as the date rolls over. Those systems will be brought back online on Monday.

"It is merely a precaution to have them off-line," White said.

Types of equipment in the mission-critical equipment category include a defribrillator, a machine used to shock the heart, the Intensive Care Unit cardiac system and lab equipment that deals with blood and oxygen counts.

Extra TMH staff members will be on duty as the date changes to 2000 to check equipment. Department heads and staff will be awaiting the year and, according to Phelps, will test all mission-critical equipment in the first minutes of 2000. Other employees of TMH will not be far away.

"All hospital employees are expected to be available," Phelps said.

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