LAWRENCEVILLE -- Because of a computer virus wreaking havoc on its networks, Gwinnett Medical Center has begun diverting ambulances from its campus and expects to continue operating primarily on a paper-based system throughout the weekend.
Hospital officials identified the computer virus that basically "impacts the interconnectivity between computers" on Wednesday afternoon, GMC spokeswoman Beth Okun told the Daily Post. The hospital's IT providers are working "diligently" to solve the problem, Okun said.
Both GMC campuses remain fully functional, but are having to rely on runners where computers would usually get the job done. The hospitals are essentially operating like they did before the age of email and more advanced connectivity solutions.
Officials expect to run on these "down-time operations" through the weekend.
"We are still able to provide seamless quality care," Okun said.
Meanwhile, GMC's campuses in Lawrenceville and Duluth are both on "total diversion status," meaning Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services ambulances are being directed to take patients to "the next closest appropriate facility," fire department spokesman Lt. Eric Eberly said.
Patients are only being transported to Gwinnett Medical if they are in extreme respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest or traumatic arrest, Eberly said.
"We are looking into putting up additional medic units to assist us during this time," Eberly said.