A Tallahassee hospital has been forced to divert patients to other facilities and cancel all non-emergency surgical procedures after being hit by a cyberattack that began on Thursday night.
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare – one of the biggest hospitals serving a 21-county region in north Florida and south Georgia – said they have had to take their IT systems offline due to the security issue.
“We are also diverting EMS patients and will only be accepting Level 1 traumas from our immediate service area. All non-emergency surgical and outpatient procedures have been canceled and rescheduled,” the hospital said in a statement on Friday.
“As a result of this issue, we have rescheduled non-emergency patient appointments. Patients will be contacted directly by their provider and/or care facility if their appointment is affected.”
Hospital officials said it has created protocols to deal with system downtime designed to minimize disruption and noted that its IT department discovered the attack quickly before working to resolve it.
The hospital did not respond to requests for comment about the nature of the cyberattack, but sources connected to the situation told Florida Politics that it is a “suspected ransomware attack.”
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare operates a 772-bed acute care hospital, a surgery and adult ICU center, a psychiatric hospital, multiple specialty care centers and more.
While there has been some debate over whether ransomware attacks on hospitals can be tied directly to any loss of life, several experts said incidents over the last five years were undeniable proof that the