UHS: Large hospital system struggles to recover computer network operations after cyberattack

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“We are making steady progress on recovery efforts,” the Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement Tuesday night. “Some applications have already come back online, while others are expected to be restored on an ongoing basis across the United States.”

The company said it “suffered a computer security incident in the early morning hours of September 27, 2020” and was forced to shut down its entire computer network, which had an impact on patient data, laboratory systems and clinical information.

“Patient care continues to be provided in a safe and efficient manner,” the company statement noted, adding that at present, “there is no evidence that patient or employee data have been viewed, copied or misused ”.

Dr Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist at George Washington University Medical Center, an acute care UHS hospital affected by the attack, told CNN that the system reset could take several days.

“They proactively destroyed their entire network to protect the network when they detected the attack and they are working using these downtime protocols to keep clinical operations safe while slowly recovering. online systems, ”he said.

In the meantime, he said it was a “big deal”.

Reiner said affected facilities are back to using manual systems, which was once the norm, so patient safety isn’t necessarily an issue at all. “But it’s a big problem. It’s a big problem, ”he repeated.

He said he had to cancel several surgeries on Tuesday and added that it was “much more complicated to find patient data”.

The UHS statement said its facilities use “established back-up processes, including offline documentation methods” – meaning pen and paper.

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