Tuesday , January 31 2023

Updated: The computer virus that affects HSN is not ransomware: spokesperson


Updated January 17 at 11 a.m.

Northern health sciences confirm that the computer virus that has affected hospital operations since Wednesday morning is not a redemption.

Other large organizations in Greater Sudbury were previously affected by ransomware, including Cambridge College in 2017.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish the victim's data or permanently blocks access, unless a redemption is paid.

The hospital made this confirmation this morning after Sudbury.com asked spokesman Jason Turnbull a number of questions.

I asked if it was a deliberate attack or an accidental infection if a source was identified, if the police were involved and how long Health Sciences North could go that way before the patients were sent to other hospitals for care.

Turnbull has managed to address some of our questions.

He said the hospital's IT team "is working diligently to identify a source and hope to have a later update."

Turnbull also said that sending patients to other hospitals during the interruption was "not discussed", and the hospital is not "dispatching patients to other locations."

As mentioned above, interruptions may cause delays in some HSN programs and longer waiting times in the Emergency department.

Some elective procedures and surgeries within the next 24-48 hours can be rescheduled.

In addition, treatments for chemotherapy and radiotherapy were canceled today and tomorrow at the North East Cancer Center and at the satellite clinics.

Patients are being rescheduled to be treated later this week and weekend. Those affected patients will be notified.

All appointments at the following clinics may be affected on Thursday:

  • Joint assessment center northeast
  • Ambulatory care unit
  • Heart Failure Clinic
  • Day care
  • Breast screening and evaluation services

Patients are asked to report to HSN if they scheduled appointments on Thursday, understanding that these appointments may be affected.

Patients with questions or concerns can contact their patients at 705-523-7100 ext. 3737.

"We apologize for any inconvenience that this could cause," Turnbull said.

To ease congestion in our emergency department during this time, the public is reminded there are alternative care available in the community, including walk-in clinics and Telemedicine.

Turnbull said the hospital expects to issue another update this afternoon.

Original Story:

The computer virus that affects North Health Sciences operations this week has forced the cancellation of numerous clinics and treatments, delays in various departments, and rescheduling procedures.

Referring to the "technical difficulty" problem, HSN began to notice problems with its IT system at 15:00 on January 15th. In the latest version, the hospital said its IT department has confirmed that the virus is the cause of the problem, and staff are working with several "IT experts, including McAfee," to try to fix the problem.

"We still do not know how our IT systems infected with this virus," the hospital said in his latest press release.

While patient care is not affected, HSN said, several internal software systems are.

Waiting times in the emergency department will be longer, while some procedures and elective surgery over the next 24-48 hours could be reprogrammed, the hospital said. In addition, treatments for chemotherapy and radiotherapy were canceled at the North-East Cancer Center and its satellite clinics.

Patients are in the process of being rescheduled for treatment later this week and the weekend, HSN said. Affected patients will be notified.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.To ease congestion in our Emergency Department at this time, the public reminds us that there are community-based care alternatives, including walk-in clinics and telemedicine. "

All appointments to the following clinics may be affected today due to the virus:

  • Joint assessment center northeast
  • Ambulatory care unit
  • Heart Failure Clinic
  • Day care
  • Breast screening and evaluation services

If you have a scheduled appointment today, HSN asks you to go to the hospital, but you understand that these appointments may be affected. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Patient Relations at 705-523-7100 ext. 3737 for more information.

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