Bluewater Health says it will take until mid- December before its computer systems disrupted by a ransomware attack are restored.
The hospitals in Petrolia and Sarnia, as well as those in Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex were hit with a cyber attack Oct.23. The hackers who go by the name of Daixin stole 5.6 million pieces of information from 267,000 patient services and locked out users.
The hack been affecting patient services ever since.
Wednesday in a news release hospital officials acknowledged for the first time the affect it’s having on patient services.
“Physicians may not have access to:
Past patient records or medical history
Patients’ current medication list
Report from other clinicians involved in care
“While some of our systems are functional, they are slower than usual and require extra time. This affects access to labs and diagnostic imaging.
“To ensure safe care, some physicians will have to cancel procedures if, in the absence of important information, they feel it is unsafe to proceed. If this is required, physicians will do their very best to reschedule as quickly as possible,” the hospitals and TransForm Services – which provides IT services to health care operations in southwestern Ontario – said in the news release.
“This restoration is expected to be complete by mid December. Delays will be reduced for patients once digital charting is restored. Please note that some patients and families may still experience diagnostic and/or treatment delays while we work to restore systems.”
Patients who are being seen are asked to bring their health card and an up to date medication list.
“We want to emphasize to our patients that our physicians and frontline staff are under greater than normal stress due to these unusual circumstances, and they are responding with incredible resolve.
“We ask the public for their understanding during this time. This has been a challenging situation for employees, professional staff, patients and families, and we thank our community and system partners for their ongoing patience and support.”