October 25th 2023 – In Ontario, five different hospitals are contending with a cyber attack that has caused delays in care delivery. Some patients and their families report that they’ve waited hours for care and that procedures have been canceled.
One individual required an ambulance to reach the Windsor Regional Hospital’s Met campus and was required to wait nearly 24 hours for care.
Hospital cyber shutdown
At the affected hospitals, staff are using paper records and appear frustrated. Staff have noted that the hospitals seemed poorly prepared for this type of disruption.
“Plus it’s scary to think of how many people are in pain and needing help and we just sit here waiting,” said a patient.
To illustrate that point, at least one cardiac patient’s procedure was canceled, and he will be stuck in the hospital, simply waiting with his wife, until the procedure can be rebooked. However, the care providers are unsure of when that will happen.
Among the five hospitals, patient records and email have been unavailable since Monday morning. None of the hospitals would provide comment.
The systems affected are maintained by TransForm, a non-profit founded by the hospitals that manages IT, supply chain and accounts, says the organization’s website.
TransForm notes that it’s investigating the cause and scope of the incident. Personnel have begun to restore systems from a back-up, but that process has taken some time.
Local authorities are also involved in the investigation. Police have not yet returned requests for comments.