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Royal Melbourne Hospital hit by virus

Royal Melbourne Hospital hit by virus

The warnings are very clear. Running Systems with Windows XP is too risky, even for professionals. One slip up, and you get what was reported by The Age on January 18th.

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP April 8th, 2014, yet some organisations continue to use the outdated operating system – as of December 2015, it is sitting at 10.93% user share.

Because Windows XP no longer receives security updates it’s very vulnerable to malware. Royal Melbourne Hospital hit by virus, first hitting the Pathology Department and then rapidly spreading across the network.

An email was sent to staff, informing them of what has happened and what needs to be done, including essential processes like blood and tissue processing could no longer be performed by computer, needing to be done manually. Also nurses had to cooperate with the Food Department to make sure all patients received the right meals because the computers that contained records of patients were also infected.

Meanwhile the IT department were working hard to recover everything.

On Monday night, a spokeswoman said although the virus had been disruptive for computer systems and PCs, staff had been able to minimise disruption to patients so far.

Patient safety has always been our highest priority and has been maintained… Elective surgeries and outpatient appointments are continuing as normal.

We are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible. As soon as the virus has been removed, we will investigate how it came to infect Melbourne Health.

When asked if the virus would jeopardise the safety and privacy of patient’s records, she made no comment.
The spokeswoman also declined to say when the virus was first detected and how long it was likely to cause problems for.

 On the 19th, the RMH Bulletin Page got an update on the situation:

Melbourne Health is managing a computer virus which infected its computer network.

While the virus has been disruptive to the organisation, due to the tireless work of staff we have been able to minimise this disruption to our patients and ensure patient safety has been maintained.

Computers running on most of our systems are now clear of the virus and IT staff are working to restore the remaining Windows XP computers as quickly as possible.

As of 10am this morning, many programs affected by the virus are up and running including pathology and pharmacy.

If you run XP, we do hope you stay on the ball. If you are not professional yet still hesitant, PLEASE! help yourself and upgrade.

You can currently move to Windows 7 and be protected for 4 more years. Windows 8.1 can add a few more years of safety – fully losing support in 2023. Your best option is to move to Windows 10.

Unsure what to do? Contact us for assistance.

Are you still using Windows XP? Comment below.