February 9, 2024

Cerner system downtime required for lab relocation; will affect specimen collection and test processing during window

The expansion of VUMC’s diagnostic laboratories to MetroCenter on March 1, 2024, will require a downtime of our  laboratory information system (Cerner). This downtime will impact specimen collection and testing for all areas—inpatient, ambulatory, regional hospitals, and procedural.

eStar (Epic) and the Blood Bank system (Soft) will not be affected by the Cerner downtime.

The downtime is expected to last seven (7) hours, from 7 p.m.on Friday, March 1, to 2 a.m. on Saturday, March 2. There will be a recovery period of approximately seven (7) additional hours to process, test and result lab orders received during the downtime. A return to normal operations is expected by 9 a.m.on Saturday, March 2.

As part of the downtime, employees should:

  • Avoid scheduling patients for routine lab visits on March 1
  • Order testing required for immediate patient care with STAT priority during the 7-hour downtime window. Other orders should be placed after Cerner is restored, if possible.
    • Outpatient STAT Orders: Orders will not be processed automatically. You must call 5-LABS.
    • Inpatient STAT Orders: Orders should go directly to the lab. There is no need to call 5-LABS.
  • Follow standard downtime lab collection workflow in eStar
    • Nurses should print eStar lab order requisition
  • Please limit the use of ambulatory STAT results requests during this time to only those needed for immediate patient care
  • Expect all STAT test results to be manually sent to inpatient units during downtime
    • Critical results to be called to the inpatient floor or clinic
    • Non-critical results will be faxed to the inpatient floor or clinic
    • STAT test results will be visible in Media tab of eStar
    • After downtime, STAT tests will be re-ordered and reported in the Labs tab under a new Specimen ID (accession number)
  • Routine test results will become available after downtime during the recovery period, and visible in Lab Results tab of eStar
  • Anticipate delays for all laboratory tests received by the laboratory after 7 p.m. on March 1 until the recovery window is closed
    • Anticipate 1-2 days’ delay in test results for microbiology tests (e.g., urine and throat cultures) for samples collected on March 1

Additional details on downtime procedures are available on the project website at VUMC.org/lab-transformation.

Other STAT labs should be brought to the 4th floor TVC or tubed to TVC4 (including hospitalized, ED and patients in clinics on campus).