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Cyber security incident

Sunday, 06 October 2019

Tuesday 15 October 4pm update - cyber security incident 

As of Monday, almost all Barwon Health clinical information systems were back up and running. We will restore internet and email for staff in the coming days.

Since last Thursday, there have been no rescheduled outpatient appointments and only three rescheduled surgeries.

Patients impacted by this incident are being contacted this week to reschedule their appointment or surgery.

Barwon Health is working with experts from the state and federal government to ensure we have the best measures in place to protect us in the future.

We remain confident that patient or staff confidentiality has not been compromised.

We want to acknowledge the patience, support and understanding we’ve received from the community and the outstanding efforts of our staff and volunteers during this challenging time.

Wednesday 9 October 8pm update - cyber security incident

We are pleased to say there have been no rescheduled elective surgeries or outpatient appointments today, for the first time since the cyber security incident last week.

Since Friday, there have been just four elective surgeries rescheduled, which is a great result given the circumstances we’ve faced as an organisation adjusting to challenges each day.

This progress is an example of the effective work-arounds and innovative processes our staff are implementing across Barwon Health to deliver high quality care, as well as our improved access to patient records.

It’s been fantastic to see the way staff have adapted to get on with the job and minimise the impact of the system outage, with many going above and beyond to help ensure our community has access to the right care when they need it.

Our IT team has worked around the clock to restore our systems and so far has been able to safely bring back or partly restore almost half of our clinical applications.

We remain confident that patient confidentiality has not been compromised and we want to acknowledge the patience, support and understanding we’ve received from the community and the families of our staff, as we continue to work through this incident. 

Sunday 6 October 3pm update - cyber security incident

Last week Barwon Health, along with many other rural services, experienced a significant cyber security incident. As a result, access to our usual IT systems was impacted.

With the support of a team of cyber security experts we are progressively restoring IT system access.

We anticipate minimal impact to our usual Barwon Health service in the coming weeks and I’m pleased we were able to reduce our number of rescheduled elective surgeries on Friday to just two out of 52.

I want to commend our staff for their hard work and flexibility in these circumstances, especially those who have adapted to take on different roles to support the transfer of information across wards and sites.

It’s been encouraging to see effective and efficient communication can still take place without the modern technology we usually rely on, and we have even seen positive outcomes resulting from more face-to-face interactions.

The community’s patience and understanding has been an incredible support and is much appreciated while we continue to work through this incident.

Friday 4 October 3pm update - cyber security incident

Today only two out of 52 elective surgeries have been rescheduled.

We’re progressively restoring system access, with a number of clinical applications expected to be restored over the weekend.

The majority of the Auditor General’s recommendations were underway prior to the VAGO report being tabled and most will be implemented by the year-end.

The investigation into the cyber security attack is underway and is forensic in nature.

We constantly conduct exercises to ensure all our services are robust to cope with any emergency.

Thursday 3 October 3pm update - cyber security incident 

Patient care continues as usual across all sites and the University Hospital Geelong Emergency Department continues to treat patients. Outpatient appointments and surgery cases are being assessed on a case-by-case basis with a small number requiring rescheduling. On Tuesday, 18 out of 66 elective surgeries were rescheduled, on Wednesday 11 out of 84, and today we are on track for just 8 out of 51 being rescheduled.

Approximately 100 out of 450 daily outpatients appointments have been rescheduled.

Barwon Health data is backed up to multiple locations and we have no concerns at this stage about the current state of our backups.

We have a team of cyber security experts supporting us as we restore our IT systems. We’re awaiting advice from them on the time frame to return to our normal services.

Our staff have gone above and beyond to adapt to the challenges of this incident, putting patient care and safety at the forefront. As always, we have been overwhelmed with helpful offers from our strong volunteer base of people willing to give up their time to help Barwon Health.

The volunteer co-ordinator is seeking to determine the availability of volunteers to further support the current services offered by volunteers.

Barwon Health Patient Support Team: 1800 317 456

Tuesday 1 October 3pm update - cyber security incident 

Barwon Health has released a support number for members of the community with questions relating to the cyber security incident impacting the Barwon Health IT system.

Barwon Health would like to thank the community for their patience and support at this time – we are being supported by all levels of government to resolve this incident.

As a result of the incident, some clinical applications have been suspended as a precautionary action. Manual systems have been put in place to ensure patient care can continue. Unfortunately some outpatient appointments and a small number of elective surgeries have been rescheduled.

Patient care continues as usual across all sites and the University Hospital Geelong Emergency Department continues to treat patients.

Tuesday 1 October 10am update - cyber security incident 

Barwon Health has experienced a cyber security incident with the Barwon Health IT system. 

We are investigating the root cause and have taken immediate precautionary action to resolve the issue.

We expect there to be some impact on patient services throughout the day. The University Hospital Geelong Emergency Department is continuing to treat patients as they arrive. 

Further updates will be provided when available.  

Read the statement from the Department of Premier & Cabinet here: https://www.vic.gov.au/cyber-health-incident

Media Contacts

Public Affairs and Communications manage all media relations at Barwon Health.

Media phone: 03 4215 1119

Business hours:

Monday to Friday

8.30am to 5pm

Email: media@barwonhealth.org.au 

Please call the media phone for all urgent, after-hours requests.