Omaha patients struggle to fill prescriptions during CHI Health outage

ByDonald L. Leech

Oct 7, 2022

Katie Griffin, 24, prepares for the week ahead but fills her medicine tray with ibuprofen, Tylenol, vitamins and what’s left of her prescription drug, Tramadol. She rations rheumatoid arthritis medication. “I’m supposed to take two, once in the morning, once in the evening,” said Griffin, who temporarily takes just one pill a day. She only takes one a day to get through the week. “On Wednesday I received a notification from Hy-Vee that they would not be able to issue an order as they were unable to contact my supplier,” Griffin said. Griffin is a longtime CHI patient who learned that the hospital’s systems were down. when she couldn’t reschedule an appointment this week. “It’s been four days now,” Griffin said. “You know, there’s no communication about it, you don’t know when you can refill the medicine again. And it’s frustrating. Griffin hasn’t taken any more medicine before. It’s extremely painful. Because it’s not just my wrists and my hands, it’s my ankles, my knees,” said Griffin, who has a contingency plan in place. “It’s not terrible yet. I can get by on Tylenol and ibuprofen, but at some point it might end up going to the ER to get a cortisone shot so I can move my fingers.” Hy-Vee told KETV NewsWatch 7 in a statement, “We are doing everything we can to work with our patients.” They can take handwritten prescriptions for certain medications. CHI Health said clinics and hospitals remain open. There are temporary adjustments, including rescheduling or postponing certain appointments or procedures on a case-by-case basis. They advise you to call your medical provider with any concerns and needs. Griffin said the information from CHI is an antidote to the anxiety this ordeal has caused. said Griffin. “What are we doing to correct this, what actions have been taken so that it does not happen again?”

Katie Griffin, 24, prepares for the week ahead but fills her medicine tray with ibuprofen, Tylenol, vitamins and what’s left of her prescription drug, Tramadol. She rations rheumatoid arthritis medication.

“I’m supposed to take two, once in the morning, once in the evening,” said Griffin, who temporarily takes just one pill a day.

She only takes one a day to get through the week.

“On Wednesday I received a notification from Hy-Vee that they would not be able to create an order because they were unable to contact my supplier,” Griffin said.

Griffin is a lifelong CHI patient who learned the hospital’s systems were down when she couldn’t reschedule an appointment this week.

“It’s been four days now,” Griffin said. “You know, there’s no communication about it, you don’t know when you can refill the medicine again. And it’s frustrating.”

Griffin has already stopped taking medication.

“It’s extremely painful. Because it’s not just my wrists and my hands, it’s my ankles, my knees,” said Griffin, who has a contingency plan in place. “It’s not terrible yet. I can get by on Tylenol and ibuprofen, but at some point it might end up going to the ER to get a cortisone shot so I can move my fingers.”

Hy-Vee told KETV NewsWatch 7 in a statement, “We are doing everything we can to work with our patients.”

They can take handwritten prescriptions for certain medications.

CHI Health said clinics and hospitals remain open. There are temporary adjustments, including rescheduling or postponing certain appointments or procedures on a case-by-case basis. They advise calling your provider with medical concerns and needs.

Griffin said the information from CHI is an antidote to the anxiety the ordeal has caused.

“How did it happen?” Griffin said. “What are we doing to fix it, what actions have been taken so you know it won’t happen again?”