Friday, January 29, 2016

I Wonder Who Was Really Accountable For This Debacle. There Are A Few Possibilities.

I Wonder Who Was Really Accountable For This Debacle. There Are A Few Possibilities.
This little problem got a good deal of mainstream and technical coverage last week.

Royal Melbourne Hospital attacked by damaging computer virus

Date January 18, 2016 - 10:18PM

Julia Medew

Health Editor

The health network's website is not working and says it is "currently under maintenance".
A virus has attacked the computer system of one of Melbourne's largest hospital networks, causing chaos for staff and patients who may face delays as a result.
Staff at Melbourne Health - the network which runs the Royal Melbourne Hospital - are urgently trying to repair damage to its IT system after a virus infected Windows XP computers.
An email sent to staff today said the virus had hit Melbourne Health's pathology department, causing staff to manually process specimens such as blood, tissue and urine samples instead of computers aiding the registration, testing and entry of results.
While the Blood Bank is still operating for the hospital, the email said only urgent pathology specimens would be processed due to delays involved in "manual work-arounds" and that staff needed to send faxes to the pathology department if they required urgent results.
"Critically abnormal" haematology and biochemistry results are being telephoned to staff on wards including the intensive care unit and emergency department.
"Please note that there will be delays in the processing of Microbiology and Anatomical Pathology specimens," said the email sent this afternoon by Associate Professor Denise Heinjus, Executive Director Nursing Services and Allied Health.
The email said the hospital's food service was working with nurses to ensure that the right meals continue to be delivered to the right patients.
"IT is currently implementing a network-wide solution to this virus. This will take some time so staff must not attempt to fix the problem themselves," the email said.
It also warns staff whose computers are on and working not to switch them off. The email said staff should not log in to any password protected sites such as bank, Gmail or Facebook accounts. Staff whose computers are off are being warned not to switch them on.
More here:
Among other coverage we also had this:

Royal Melbourne Hospital hit by Windows XP virus

Work at the pathology department of the Royal Melbourne Hospital has been hit for several days by a virus which has infected computers running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system.
The processing of blood, tissue and urine samples has been done manually due to the infection, causing massive delays, according to reports on a number of websites, with The Age leading the way.
These reports were confirmed by the hospital when it issued a terse media release on Tuesday afternoon.
In it, the hospital, one of the largest in Melbourne, said: "Melbourne Health would like to reassure all of our patients and community that there are minimal disruptions to patient services today (Tuesday).
"Elective surgery and our Emergency Department are operating as normal. There have been a very small number of outpatient cancellations.

"Our staff have worked tirelessly over the past couple of days to maintain patient safety and ensure minimal disruption.
More here:
It seems to me there are a few possibilities.
1. The technical people looking after the affected systems not being aware of the risks of running Win XP - very unlikely.
2. An outside provider providing a Win XP based package and not updating it as needed - again not all that likely.
3. Senior IT Management at the hospital not knowing that XP was still being used - possible - but not working to fix the issue - unlikely.
4. Hospital Senior Management - saw the cost of replacement and decided it could wait - ignoring requests from below…not at all unlikely.
Who would you surmise is likely to be the real culprit? I reckon No 4 is looking good! If you work there let us all know the truth! I have to say this recent article leaves the whole thing rather up in the air - but maybe we know a little more!

http://www.itnews.com.au/news/how-the-qbot-malware-downed-melbourne-healths-systems-414041
 
David.

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