CHICAGO (CBS) — A major and ongoing network outage that disrupted phone and internet service at Lurie Children’s Hospital was brought about by a “cybersecurity matter,” the hospital announced Thursday night.
“Lurie Children’s is actively responding to a cybersecurity matter,” the hospital posted. “We are taking this very seriously, are investigating with the support of leading experts, and are working in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. As part of our response to this matter, we have taken network systems offline.”
impacted phone and internet service at the hospital in the Streeterville neighborhood, and was not over as of Thursday night. The phone lines at Lurie’s three other locations – a primary care center at 1450 N. Halsted St., a primary care center in Glenview, and an outpatient center in Skokie – were also down Thursday morning.
An internal memo obtained by CBS 2 revealed Lurie began experiencing service disruptions early on Wednesday.
“As Illinois’ leading provider for pediatric care, our overarching priority is to continue providing safe, quality care to our patients and the communities we serve. Lurie Children’s is open and providing care to patients with as few disruptions as possibl,” the hospital posted Thursday night. “We are currently working to establish a call center to address our patient-families’ and community providers’ needs. We will post updates on luriechildrens.org.”
Sources said due to the outage, people trying to reach their doctor because of a medical issue could not do so. People trying to reach someone inside the hospital could not do so by dialing the hospital’s general phone numbers, so anyone in an emergency should instead call 911.
For staff, it became difficult to order prescriptions, document vaccines, schedule procedures and check test results.
But the outage was bigger than just phones not working. It also knocked out the hospital’s online chart system – canceling appointments and procedures.
The outage also meant pharmacies had limitations on digital patient charts.
A source said the hospital was performing a “partial list of surgeries” on Thursday, meaning some scheduled surgeries, but not all.