Officials are investigating a cyberattack that is impacting patient services at Bluewater Health, as well as other hospitals across the region.
“Our regional IT shared service provider has determined that our regional member hospitals are experiencing a cyberattack,” the hospital posted in an update, late Monday, adding that officials are investigating the ‘cause and scope of incident,’ including whether any patient information was affected.
“Unfortunately, this incident is impacting our provision of care in various ways.”
Patients who have care scheduled in the next few days are being advised that their care team will contact them directly if their appointment needs to be rescheduled or provide alternate arrangements, officials stated.
Bluewater Health first notified the public of a ‘digital systems outage’ earlier Monday, advising patients and families to expect longer than usual wait times.
“Our lab department is also deferring all non-urgent walk in appointments in Sarnia and Petrolia until further notice,” the hospital said. “A reminder for those visiting the hospital to please bring your health card as we cannot access our systems for patient records.”
The cyber attack also impacts other Erie St. Clair Region hospitals: Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Windsor Regional Hospital.
A joint statement from the group also urges patients not in need of emergency care, to attend their primary care provider or local clinic “to reduce the impact upon the hospitals as we work towards addressing these issues and focus on those needing hospital care.”
“We are investigating the cause and scope of incident, including whether any patient information was affected,” the statement added. “Our investigation is ongoing and we will provide further updates, as appropriate.
“We will not be providing further comment in response to this statement.”