Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) has enacted emergency protocols after an external cybersecurity issue was detected at a partner hospital Feb. 5.

Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay put out a notice to its staff Sunday evening that multiple services, such as WiFi, email, and the Epic electronic medical records system, were offline due to a suspected cyber-attack. Those systems remain offline as of press time.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, ambulances were rerouted to other nearby hospitals.

Some staff reported having difficulty accessing the facility’s pneumatic tube system (PTS), which connects all wards, surgical rooms and departments with the hospital’s laboratory and central pharmacy. Those issues were resolved as of Feb. 7.

The source of the attack is unknown at this time.

Lauren Hunter, HHHS spokesperson, told The Highlander that both hospital sites in the County had declared a Code Grey, used whenever there is infrastructure loss or failure, due to HHHS sharing an integrated information technology system with Ross Memorial Hospital.

She did not provide an answer when asked if there was any concern over patient or staff personal information being leaked, or internal systems being compromised, instead saying “we understand the Ross Memorial Hospital is working to investigate and will share more information when we are able.”

She said some HHHS email accounts are not functioning properly due to the attack, and some of the hospitals’ services are experiencing delays, though confirmed WiFi remained online.

When asked if other systems, such as Epic, were operational, she said, “currently HHHS is operating based on our established protocols to continue delivering services.”

She also said two ambulances that would have gone to Ross Memorial Hospital were redirected to Minden.

Updates, when available, will be provided at hhhs.ca, and on the organization’s social media channels.