January 11, 2022

UHS: a large hospital system struggles to recover its computer network operations after a cyber attack

“We are making steady progress in recovery efforts,” the Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement Tuesday night. “Some applications have already started to go online, others should be gradually restored across the United States”

The company said it “was the victim of a computer security incident in the early morning hours of September 27, 2020” and was therefore forced to shut down its entire computer network, resulting in impacted patient data, laboratory systems and clinical information.

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

Dr Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist at George Washington University Medical Center, a UHS intensive care hospital affected by the attack, told CNN that the system reset could take several days.
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“They proactively shut down their entire network, to protect the network when they detected the attack, and they use these downtime protocols to keep clinical operations safe while they slowly bring systems back to normal. line, ”he said.

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

Reiner said affected facilities are using manual systems again, 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 tedious to find patient data”.

The UHS statement said its facilities used “established backup processes, including offline documentation methods,” meaning pen and paper.


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