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That is according to Mr Richard Corbridge. Chief Information Officer from the HSE who was speaking to the Medical Independent (MI) today at the ICGP AGM in Wexford.
“What we are seeing at the moment, isn’t targeted at the HSE or health systems,” Mr Corbridge told MI.
“It is targeted at a deficiency in large systems to be able to keep up to date with security patching. Microsoft provided the patch in March for the issue, and systems have not been able to get patching to all systems across the world, and that includes the HSE.”
Mr Corbridge said that there are about 1,500 Microsoft Windows XP machines in the HSE.
“What we can do is remove that access, make sure that every one of those 1,500 machines are patched and up to date,” said Mr Corbridge.
” Or maybe even better actually remove Microsoft [Windows] XP from the mix completely over the next few days, and they are the decisions that are been taken at the moment.
“Overnight we have tested new antivirus patches. We are installing them now as we speak and they will be up and running by the end of the day and we will be able to move forward.
“We will then have a good robust communications plan that is there for all staff that says ‘If you don’t recognise the note, or the style of the note, don’t click on the attachment.’ That will protect us quite significantly.”
Regarding how this could impact future EHR roll out by the Executive, Mr Corbridge said action is already been taken.
“What we have done with all our vendors that are delivering EHR is work with them to make sure they are completely patched up and up to date,” said Mr Corbridge.
“My own personal view is that if you employ an IT organisation whose sole job is to protect IT then they have more chance of staying on top of things. If we had crowd computing implements or we were supporting everything via an external vendor then we would be able to look at that in a different way.”
The HSE’s IT National Service Desk has been placed on high alert to support all staff queries and actions on this matter.