PERSONAL patient information was not compromised during a significant cyber security incident that hit 23 public health services last week.
Bass Coast Health (BCH) chief executive officer Jan Child said BCH isolated and disconnected technology services to quarantine the infection and protect patient information.
Work is underway to restore access to some IT systems and limited access to most systems is expected to be available by next week.
“At BCH, this isolation led to the shutdown of all our patient records, booking and management systems and all document files and email,” Ms Child said.
“There is no indication that personal patient information at any of the hospitals or health services has been accessed by the hackers – and the excellent news is that patient care at BCH has not been compromised, even though it has been one of our busiest periods.”
Ms Child thanked the community for their patience during longer waiting periods while staff undertook manual documentation processes.
The cyber attack affected 23 public health services which were all part of the Gippsland Health Alliance and the South West Alliance of Rural Health.
Ms Child praised the efforts of all BCH staff for their hard work, flexibility and continued focus on keep patients safe by taking on different roles to support service delivery and facilitate the transfer of information across teams and sites.
She singled out the service’s IT team.
“A tremendous amount of work has been happening behind the scenes, 24 hours a day since the incident occurred,” Ms Child said.
“I would like to pay special tribute to BCH IT team; Tim, Ben, Harley and Rob for their extraordinary above and beyond efforts.”
Ms Child said Gippsland Health Alliance, as BCH’s ICT controller, had already been working to upgrade their information technology structure including the roll out of new cyber security programs to better detect and block attempts to interfere with health services’ systems.
“Locally, BCH has engaged a specialist to develop a new ICT strategic plan which will include a focus on cyber security,” she said.