Lurie Children's outage: Hospital network down for 6th day, cyberattack investigation ongoing

Patient call center established for urgent requests

Karen Jordan Image
Monday, February 5, 2024
Lurie Children's Hospital network outage in 6th day
The Lurie Children's outage is nearing a full week, stretching into a sixth day Monday as the hospital investigates a cyberattack.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Our coverage of this topic has moved here.

The network outage at Lurie Children's Hospital is now in its sixth day as the hospital has taken its computers, internet and phones offline due to an unspecified cyberattack.

"We are taking this very seriously and have launched an investigation with the support of leading experts and are working in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. As part of our response to this matter, we have proactively taken network systems offline," hospital administrators said in a statement. "We recognize the concern and inconvenience the systems outage may cause our patient families and community providers, and are working diligently to resolve this matter as quickly and effectively as possible."

A call center has been established to address needs including non-urgent patient requests, care questions, information regarding scheduled patient appointments, and patient prescription refill requests.

The Lurie Children's call center can be reaching by calling 1-800-543-7362, and is operational Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Patients should visit for the most up to date information about their operations.

The ongoing outage has caused some families with appointments, as well as some Chicago area pediatricians in the hospital's network, to find a workaround.

"At first, we had some patients having trouble communicating with their specialists but we were able to back-channel that in a couple of ways," said Dr. Andy Bernstein, a pediatrician at North Suburban Pediatrics in Evanston.

Bernstein said the outage has had no impact on emergency services, and that Lurie continues to alert families of the outage with notices on its website and social media. Along with the call center, Bernstein said he's also fielded some questions from his patients.

Providers still do not have access to all patient records as many are only available digitally. Lurie has a network of hundreds of pediatricians, and Bernstein said even before this outage there were many lines of communication between doctors.

"Lurie has made sure they're in good contact with their referring general pediatricians," he said.

The cyberattack is still under investigation. The FBI is providing assistance.

It is still not known when the network will be back online.