Five SW Ontario Hospitals Hit by Cyberattack

October 16, 2023
Hospital Cybersecurity News

November 1, 2023

CHATHAM, Ont. – Bluewater Health, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Windsor Regional Hospital, and their shared service provider TransForm Shared Service Organization, confirmed that the organizations are victims of a ransomware attack.


Working with leading cybersecurity experts, they have determined through our investigation that, unfortunately, certain patient, employee and professional staff data has been taken and there is the possibility that the actors responsible for this attack may publish some of the stolen data.


“We continue to investigate to determine the exact data impacted, and any individuals whose data was affected by this cyberattack will be notified in accordance with the law.


“We continue to work around the clock to restore systems, and we expect to have updates related to the restoration of our systems in the upcoming week. We are working closely with law enforcement – including local police departments, Ontario Provincial Police, INTERPOL and FBI – and we have notified all relevant regulatory organizations including the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner.”


The hospitals said they will continue to do their best to contact patients directly in advance if they have a scheduled appointment that needs to be rescheduled. If patients do not need emergency care, the organizations are asking that patients attend their primary care provider or local clinic.


“We understand the impact this incident is having on members of our community, including patients and our employees and professional staff, and deeply apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We want to thank everyone for their patience during this time.


“Due to the fact we have notified and engaged law enforcement as part of a criminal investigation we will not be providing further comment in response to this statement.”


In late October, Transform SSO announced that online services, including electronic patient records and email, were out of service at five southwestern Ontario hospitals following a cyberattack.


TransForm is a local non-profit founded by Windsor Regional Hospital, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Bluewater Health and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance to run IT services.


“We will direct your call as best we can,” the hospital said in a statement. “We appreciate patience as there may be additional delays.”


It’s unclear when systems will be back online but TransForm said in its recent statement that it will provide updates as necessary and that its investigation is ongoing.