Patients report mix-ups following ‘suspicious activity’ on Seton computer network

Dell Seton Medical Center sign goes up. (KXAN Photo)
Dell Seton Medical Center sign goes up. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several people contacted KXAN Monday about concerns that the Seton hospital network’s computer systems may be compromised.

Internal emails sent out to employees of Seton Medical Centers across the area alerted staff of connectivity issues and instructed them not to use Seton applications because the network is “not stable.”

Patients at Dell Children’s Hospital, which is part of the Seton Group, say they were there Sunday night when the outage happened.

“Yesterday about 6 o’clock all the computers went down,” Ida Beltran says; her daughter just had brain surgery. “The nurse had just finished giving our daughter the medication, so she was trying to hurry up and check them off on the computer before she had to shut it down.”

Beltran says, since then, nurses and hospital staff have been writing down everything.

“Everyone uses computer, so it’s taking the nurses [to process] orders all that longer because they’re having to be written down,” Beltran said. “Patients are either having to wait a little longer for medications or a little longer for their test results to come in.”

Beltran says her frustration comes with a medication mix-up her daughter had after brain surgery.

“One of her night medications was given after breakfast [Monday] morning, so she’s pretty much knocked out,” Beltran said. “This computer issue, that’s frustrating, I don’t want anymore mix-ups.”

Representatives of Ascension, Seton’s parent company, released this statement:

“We recently identified suspicious activity within our network, and are currently monitoring the situation. We have not identified any patient safety issues and no devices have been reported as encrypted by ransomware. We have proactively set up safety precautions to ensure all our assets are protected.”

— Shahreen Abedin, JD, Seton Healthcare Family
Providence Healthcare Network
Public Relations Interim Director

Representatives of the hospital network have not yet responded to KXAN’s inquiries about hospital staff completing medical records by hand, what the connectivity issue means for the discharge process or how long precautionary measures are expected to be in place.

Another Dell Children’s parent told us she did not experience any issues.

“Doctors were on top of things, they were perfect, I was overwhelmed,” Monica Elizondo says. “They told us that the computers were down, and didn’t keep us in the blue, they have been up-to-date about everything.”

KXAN reached out to representatives of St. David’s HealthCare who say they were notified about issues with Seton systems on Sunday night and worked with area EMS to receive patients in need of care until the situation at Seton is resolved. St. David’s tells KXAN News several of those patients are trauma patients.

“St. David’s HealthCare is committed to caring for the community, and we remain prepared to treat impacted patients,” Denise Bradley, Ph.D. said in a statement.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s