IT Systems Outage Update

Western Health thanks our leaders, employees and physicians for supporting Western Health through the outage and during the recovery phase. We also thank patients and residents for their understanding and patience. Western Health’s services that were impacted by the IT systems have been restored and efforts are being made to address any backlog.

The investigation into this cyberattack has determined that some of Western Health’s patients’ personal health information that was collected at Western Health for bloodwork and specimens and then sent to Eastern Health provincial lab for testing was involved in the breach. This includes information related to bloodwork and specimens collected by Western Health, or private clinics in the region, which were transferred to Eastern Health for processing. Because this bloodwork and specimens are registered in Eastern Health for processing, some patient information from the Western Health region was involved. The information dates back over approximately the past 11 years. The information which was breached does not include test results.

All COVID-19 tests completed by Western Health are processed at Eastern Health. The registration information collected for these tests are also impacted. Again, the information which was taken does not include test results.

Some of the patient information involved is the type of information that is typically logged for a patient visit, such as name, address, health care number (MCP), reason for visit, their doctor, phone number, and birth date, email address for notifications, in patient/out-patient, maiden name, and marital status.

Patients in the Western Health region who believe or have concerns that they may have been impacted based on the timeframes and information provided today, are able to avail of the free credit monitoring service. Western Health is encouraging anyone who believes they are impacted to call 1-833-718-3021 and request the free two-year credit monitoring service. Additional information is available here.

There is currently no evidence that patients who received services Western Health have had their social insurance numbers breached. In addition, there is still no evidence that employee or patient information from Western Health information systems was breached.

This situation may cause stress and challenges for residents in the region. If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, visit Doorways for quick access to mental health and addictions counselling services. You may also visit Bridgethegapp.ca to find other local supports and link to online resources. The Mental Health 24 Hour Crisis Line is also available by calling 1-888-737-4668. Please reach out for support if you need it.

Western Health’s CEO and Board of Trustees are sorry for any impacts that this cyberattack has had on residents in the region. Together, with our partners, the Department of Health and Community Services, the Newfoundland Centre for Health Information, and other regional health authorities, we are focused on ensuring this does not happen again.