Humber River Hospital Pwned By Cyberattack…. ER Docs Want The ER Closed Until IT Systems Are Restored

Hospitals are really important right now given the times we currently live in. Which makes news of a cyberattack on Toronto’s Humber River Hospital incredibly frightening. And a group of ER doctor’s want the ER closed until things are back to normal:

A group of emergency physicians at Humber River Hospital has written a letter to the hospital’s administrators calling for the emergency department to be temporarily closed until IT systems are fully restored, citing concerns over patient safety.

The hospital’s information technology system has been shut down since Monday following an early-morning ransomware attack that triggered a Code Grey, or loss of essential services.

The IT shutdown has led to delays in medical and diagnostic test results needed to assess patients, according to the physicians who authored the letter obtained by the Star.

“This is leading to compromised and dangerous conditions for our patients,” the letter reads. 

The authors want “normal activities in the emergency department to cease until our IT systems are restored to normal function,” noting patients could travel to nearby GTA hospitals that “can operate at the proper level of care.”

However the hospital says things are safe:

In an interview with the Star, Dr. Leon Rivlin, chief and medical director of the emergency department, said the hospital has “continued to deliver care to all of our patients in a very safe way” during the ongoing Code Grey. 

The emergency department is now safely relying on paper records while assessing patients, he said. It’s also working closely with the diagnostic and laboratory departments “to ensure that we are maintaining all of the efficiencies and the safety mechanisms that have been developed in order to make sure patients get the care that they need,” Rivlin said.

The problem is that this could easily become one of those situations where everything is fine until it isn’t. And then it will go very bad for the hospital and more importantly, the patients. Hopefully we don’t see that scenario play out and things get back to normal quickly.

Also, I hope there’s an explanation of what happened here, and more importantly, what the hospital will do to stop something like this from happening in the future.

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