The sound of a tape being rewound, like a leap into the past. Before, the doctors of Corbeil-Essonnes hospital dictated their reports to voice recognition software. But since the cyberattack, conducted on August 21 by a group of hackerss Russian speakers, they check in”old”, on a dictaphone.
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“Doctors dictate on tapes and then secretaries have to listen to them again and do the typing”, says Francine Corneux, general coordinator of the medical secretariats of the Sud Francilien hospital. But it takes three hours to process a tape: “To try to help them, we have outsourced 300 cassettes to an outside company so that they can take over the typing of these reports”she says.
But the work overload remains: because of the paralysis of the computer software, the medical secretaries must also make appointments on paper, with as many diaries to manage as there are doctors in a service. Submerged, some are now on sick leave: “This is where we realize that the profession of medical secretary is a strong link in a hospital chain”glide Francine Corneux.
In the hallway of the post-emergency Medical Unit, on the nurses’ trolleys, there is a black screen. The entire service has also gone to paper. “There is a monitoring sheet, with the taking of constants, temperatures, a prescription sheet… It’s a waste of time”, breath Arlette, health manager at Corbeil-Essonnes hospital. This represents two more hours of work per day. “Before the cyberattack, doctors made their prescriptions on the computer. The advantage is that the nurse can connect to work simultaneously with the doctor. This is obviously not possible with paper support”she recalls.
Physical and mental fatigue accumulates, but the resilience of the caregivers makes it possible to hold on, because “we emphasize care, so we accept everything else”, continues Arlette. The caregiver did not think that a hospital could be the victim of a cyberattack: “There are sick people, this is frankly not the place”. The most critical patients are still diverted by SAMU 91 to other hospitals in the Essonne basin because the laboratory has not regained its full capacity.
According to an investigation by Radio France’s investigation unit, hackers disclosed on September 23 some of the health data they stole on the darknet. These include nominative reports of colonoscopy, childbirth and gynecological examinations. Among the information, there is a request for an autopsy on a young patient who died in the hospital, but also a lot of requests for an examination for women with breast cancer. We can read their history, their medical and surgical treatment, for example if they have undergone a mastectomy.
Today, internet access remains restricted, very restricted. The management itself submits a list of sites directly to the Anational authority in matters of security and defense of information systems (Anssi) who gives – or not – his agreement. For example, it authorized staff to visit medical publication sites.
Finally, the hospital pharmacy software is operational again. “It is a relief”, entrust thee doctor Marie-Laure Maestroni, the head of the department. With her team, she sailed blind for days: pno idea of stocks of drugs or medical devices. However, a major problem remains. “What still doesn’t work is paying invoices to suppliers. And they’re starting to block orders from us”she worries.
The Corbeil-Essonnes hospital had planned a budget of 7 million euros to rebuild its computer system. This project was not planned immediately and this expense was to be spread over several years. Because of this cyberattack, the establishment must release this sum in one go to rebuild a more efficient and more secure computer interface. It will take a year. Two crisis units are organized per week, IT briefings take place every day. Management assures that this cyberattack does not endanger the treatment patients.
Source: France TV Info