Computer systems at three major London hospitals are largely back online on Friday morning, three days after a major computer virus outbreak forced staff to disconnect the network. IT systems at St Bartholomew's (Barts), the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green were taken down on …
"systems hosting patient records"
A very careful phrase that.
Systems hosting the records are accessed over the network that was broken by worm infestation, using desktop computers which are, surely, Windows PCs of which some were infected by that worm.
The management of the NHS often criticise doctors for not being as open and forthright about what happens when something goes wrong as would be ideal, but the particular ones quoted don't impress me as showing an example.
Anonymous? You might very well think that.
That's the trouble with viruses - they don't respond to antibiotics.
As long as this sort of sh*t happens, people like me will have jobs.
This reminds me of my high school's computer network when I was in my senior year (year 12 for the Brits). Announcement over the PA: "All staff, please turn off your computers, there is a virus loose in the network."
Irresponsible architectural choices
This is what happens when you choose an architecture based on what would look good on your resume or what seems to be most popular.
For this sort of essential service, with high volumes of data, they should use mainframe computers running tried and true z/OS.
It is nonsense to try to use the error filled and virus-vulnerable Windows, Unix, Linux oir MacOS systems for such essential services and high volumes of data.
Great Ormond Street went titsup as well
unfortunately the NHS practice of employing M$tards will keep backfiring.
paying administrators who cannot use the command line is like employing doctors who haven't been to medical school.
I was there when it happened
smack in the middle of the news, I was. The staff seemed to be able to cope. It wasn't all that exciting really.
Even though they must have been using old windows boxes that are more prone to being infected, how the hell did they manage that?
Are people using these systems for emails or web browsing or something?
Does someone know more about this, as to how such a system is possible to infect in the first place?
I worked in a hospital last year...
...and the majority of the machines I saw were running Win2000, which says a lot...
Re: I worked in a hospital last year...
Yeah, it says contrary to popular opinion the NHS doesn't actually waste that much money on things it doesn't need?
Win2k SP4 is the absolute oldest desktop OS your going to find as anything else is to old to run the apps required.
I don't know what the situation at this particular hospital is, however the trust I work at does have web browsing and email on desktops like pretty much every business in existence. At the end of the day, System one, EMIS or Synergy are just apps like most companies accounting systems or whatever accessing a server.
All fall down!
This obviously is a made up story because..
Pretty much the only way a virus could do that much damage is if the computers run Windows. Obviously no one would put patient records on a Windows computer for obvious reasons...
Hang on a minute, I am using some Windows software which the company lists the NHS as a customer.
@Keith T - And the zOS systems are accessed how? An dumb terminal? Err, not for a long time, they'll be accessed by a Windows or Linux box. There will still be email, there will still be attachments, there are still requirements for office apps.
@B Johnson - This is nothing to do with MS stystems, this is to do with underfunding and bad design. Also, you do realise that you can do anything at the command line that you can through the GUI don't you? Any Windows administrator half worth his salt will have a command line up most of the time. In fact, windows 2008 comes with a 'no gui' option.
Use of machines?
They use the same machines for everything, as do people virtually everywhere.
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