ASHTABULA —  Ashtabula County Medical Center is investigating a technical disruption that began last Thursday, affecting several of its computer systems.

“We implemented downtime procedures immediately and are working to bring our systems back online,” President and CEO Michael J. Habowski said in a prepared statement Monday morning.

“The safety of our patients and caregivers is always our highest priority and has not been affected by this disruption.”

As precaution, hospital officials are postponing all elective procedures through Wednesday, he said.

The emergency department remains open to life-threatening emergencies and walk-in patients.

The inpatient units, outpatient departments and provider offices are still providing care for patients, he said.

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

The outage affects the hospital’s five family health centers, where doctors and nurses have no access to computers, so they can not see a patient’s lab work, prescriptions or health history.

Modern hospitals are highly computerized; computers are the repositories of patient records, they keep track of drug doses, they issue patient bills. That makes hospitals particularly prone to hackers.

 

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