A gradual restoration of Internet-based activity and the eventual resumption of normal services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is expected from next week as officials make progress in recovering from a cyber security attack earlier this month.
In a media statement giving an update on the progress made since the December 13 incident, Chief Operations Officer Dr Christine Greenidge said the QEH’s Information Technology (IT) team has been working with private and international experts to work on containing the problem and carrying out full system assessments. “To date, cleaning of the hospital’s computer systems has also begun. The return to regular Internet-based activity will occur in a phased approach across the hospital and is expected to commence during the first week in January,” she said.
The senior hospital official added that despite the challenges, the “dedicated” QEH staff remains committed to operating manually as the hospital seeks to provide the best possible service.
“Through their efforts, our departments and wards remain open, albeit with a few necessary changes,” Dr Greenidge added.
The QEH Pharmacy remains open from 8:30 a.m. daily, until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 2 p.m. on weekends and public holidays.
However, the Medication Delivery Service is still suspended.
“Individuals are invited to contact the Pharmacy for advice via QEH PBX 436-6450, visit with your boxes/bottles due for repeats, or visit to collect your prescriptions and receive advice. When visiting the Pharmacy, please walk with your Barbados ID card,” the hospital statement advised those who use the delivery service.
“The Out-patient clinic remains open to the public. However, there may be changes and delays to your visit given the current situation. Please present for your appointments as scheduled. While present on your clinic day, we urge you to be patient with the staff as they do their best to work through the delays posed by the cyber security incident,” it added.
The cyber security incident had also prevented the Medical Records department from issuing appointment dates. Although that is still the case, members of the public are still being urged to show up with their paperwork, referral or appointment slip to have their need for a clinic date logged.
“Please walk with your Barbados ID card. When the systems are functional again, the department will call those individuals who submitted paperwork to inform them of their appointment date,” the hospital said.
The Accident and Emergency Department remains open to the public.
The December 13 cyber security incident caused the suspension of all Internet-dependent services at the QEH.