Services affected at Health Sciences North due technical difficulties

Health Sciences North says it is currently experiencing technical difficulties which are impacting its IT systems.

Facility remains open at this time

Health Sciences North says a computer virus is impacting its information technology systems.

It says the technical difficulties started around 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

As a result, several internal software systems are affected. Delays could occur with some of the hospital's programs and there may be longer wait times in the emergency room.

HSN says patients who come to the Emergency Department will be prioritized based on need, and not on a first-come, first-served basis so there may be longer waits for those with non-urgent conditions.

Clinic appointments could be affected

The virus could also affect appointments scheduled for today at the northeast joint assessment centre, ambulatory care unit, heart failure clinic, medical day care and breast screening and assessment service.

Anyone with a clinic appointment today is asked to go the Sudbury hospital at the scheduled time.  

Patients with questions or concerns are asked to contact patient relations at (705) 523-7100 ext. 3737.

The hospital adds certain elective procedures and surgeries may be rescheduled.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments are cancelled for Wednesday and Thursday at the North East Cancer Centre and its satellite clinics as a result.

'Alternative care options'

"Patients are in the process of being rescheduled for treatment later this week and into the weekend," the hospital said.

"Those patients impacted will be notified."

It adds work is being done to fix the problem.

"We don't know yet how our IT systems came to be infected with this virus," the hospital stated.

"We are actively working with several IT experts, including McAfee, to rectify this situation as soon as possible."

It adds to ease congestion in the emergency room, patients can access alternative care options in the community including walk-in clinics and Telemedicine.

Outpatient services affected in Hearst

The Hôpital Notre-Dame Hospital in Hearst is reporting a "major computer system breakdown," but it's unclear if that hospital is experiencing the same technology issues as Health Sciences North.

The hospital in Hearst is asking patients not to report for outpatient services, including emergency care, x-rays or lab tests unless an appointment has already been booked or for an emergency.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.