ASHTABULA — Doctors and nurses are doing downtime work at Ashtabula County Medical Center and all of its Family Health Centers because the hospital computer system shut down Thursday and continued through Friday.

The hospital is investigating a technical disruption that began Thursday and affected several computer systems, President and CEO Michael J. Habowski said in a prepared statement Friday afternoon.

"We implemented downtime procedures immediately and are working to bring our systems back online," he said. "The safety of our patients and caregivers is always our highest priority and has not been impacted by this disruption."

Although ACMC cancelled some appointments and elective procedures, many services continued on despite the disruption, Habowski said.

The hospital did not disclose further details about the nature of the incident.

A hospital official said the hospital's emergency room is open.

The outage also affected the hospital's five family health centers, where health care workers had no access to computers for lab work results, prescriptions or a patient's history.

 Modern hospitals are highly computerized; computers are the repositories of patient records, they keep track of drug doses, they issue patient bills. That — and so many people having access to a hospital’s computer system — makes hospitals particularly prone to hackers.

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