SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Well, looks like the information technology (IT) department is at it again, this time in San Francisco. With security breaches at Equifax and Uber making headlines over the past few months, IT at University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) is not taking any chances. Effective today, two incorrect password attempts into the electronic medical record (EMR) will cause the computer to explode.
“Forget three strikes, two strikes and you’re out,” UCSF IT analyst Roberta Cala told us in a phone interview. “Patient privacy is crucially important and we take it very seriously especially after what’s happened in the news. If that means exploding desktops and laptops might take out some of our finest clinicians, well, so be it.”
Many saw this day coming. It was only a matter time before near-obsolete yet volatile machines with the ability to destroy an entire medical ward just because you typed a lowercase e instead of an uppercase E during a password prompt became a reality.
Plastic surgery resident, Avery Williams, had a close call today. “This afternoon I got the password wrong on my first attempt,” he explained. “I have to admit I was sweating bullets during that second go at it. I have pretty steady hands in the operating room, but I was shaking when I hit the Enter button. In case you were wondering, I didn’t explode.”
IT at medical institutions nationwide had already drawn the ire of health care professionals with outdated computers, untimely system downtimes, and password resets every 20 minutes. This latest news will not sit well with nurses and doctors on the front line, especially considering death is a possible outcome.
“Man, can’t we revert back to the good old days?” said family medicine physician Thomas Halstead, scared to log-in at all today and possibly forever. “You know, before when keyboards became detonation devices?”
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