Lurie Children’s outage: Chicago hospital investigating ‘cyber security matter’ as internet, phone outage continues for 5th day

CHICAGO (WLS) — Lurie Children’s Hospital said it is investigating a “cyber security matter” as computers, internet and phones remained down for a fifth day Sunday as part of a system-wide network outage.

“We are taking this very seriously and have launched an investigation 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 proactively taken network systems offline,” hospital administrators said in a statement. “We recognize the concern and inconvenience the systems outage may cause our patient families and community providers, and are working diligently to resolve this matter as quickly and effectively as possible.”

A call center has been established to address needs including non-urgent patient requests, care questions, information regarding scheduled patient appointments, and patient prescription refill requests.

The Lurie Children’s call center can be reaching by calling 1-800-543-7362, and is operational Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Patients should visit for the most up to date information about their operations.

“Everyone thought it was going to come back quickly and no, so it made everybody go back to paper chart, writing everything down, because computers are down at this point,” said Iriel Thomas, parent of a patient.

The ongoing issue has forced some elective surgeries and procedures to be canceled. Thomas’ 10-year-old son has been in the hospital since last Saturday, and the outage has caused a procedure to be delayed.

“It’s just first come, first served on what is important right now,” he said.

Thomas was told the outage had no impact on emergency services. Lurie has continued to alert families about the outage and ask for their patience through messages on its website and social media.

“You can hear everybody talking about it, there are doctors huddled in the corner, this is what we are going to do, it seems like they are handling the situation,” said parent Kelly Beeman.

Beeman and her wife were unaware of the outage when they arrived at Lurie for an appointment for their 18-month-old daughter. She said they were hoping to review ultrasound results with their doctor but couldn’t. However, they were able to get a prescription the old school way.

“He had to do it on a piece of paper and he said I haven’t done it in this way in a long time on paper, but we got what we needed,” she said.

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