The 'ripple effects' of a children's hospital cyberattack

The cyberattack on Lurie Children's Hospital, the largest pediatric medical center in the Chicago area, is having "ripple effects" for patients and physicians across the region, WBEZ reported.

Pediatricians are having trouble referring patients and billing for services, while parents are running into difficulty getting through to a call center that Lurie set up and obtaining orders for their children, according to the Feb. 9 story.

"We depend on Lurie so much," Alejandro Clavier, MD, a medical director at Esperanza Health Centers, a chain of safety-net clinics in Chicago, told the news outlet. "I think patients are being served. I just think it's super inconvenient."

Lurie has had to call him for information on patients rather than relying on EHRs, which have been down since Jan. 31, the news outlet reported. Esperanza has also been unable to access test results for its patients online.

"They're so internally focused on their problem at hand that they forgot that we're all sitting here," Debora Land, whose teenage daughter is a Lurie patient, told WBEZ. "And telling us, 'Oh, we know you're frustrated, but please be patient,' doesn't cut it. It's not enough."

Ms. Land said it took five days to get an order for her daughter's blood draw, according to the story.

The children's hospital brought its internet and phone systems offline to deal with the hack from what it called a "known criminal threat actor."

"We recognize the frustration and concern this situation creates for all those impacted," Lurie said in a Feb. 8 statement. "We are so grateful to our Lurie Children's community for the outpouring of support. We are especially inspired by our workforce and their resilience and commitment to our mission."

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