Erie County Medical Center systems still down 12 days after massive cyberattack

The Buffalo-based hospital said no patient records have been compromised, but is still working to restore regular functions and continues to operate without interruption.
By Jessica Davis
02:46 PM
Erie County Medical Center cyberattack

Buffalo-based Erie County Medical Center is still struggling to bring its computer systems back online after a virus was discovered on April 9, according to The Buffalo News.

The hospital was hit with a cyberattack, but hospital officials are declining to confirm the attack is ransomware due to the ongoing investigation. However, Buffalo News cited sources that said the attack was indeed ransomware.

As ransomware can encrypt and shut down infected computers, it seems the most logical reason to why ECMC still doesn’t have systems online. Medstar, Hollywood Presbyterian and Appalachian Regional all remained down for days after ransomware attacks in 2016.

[Also: Virus knocks Erie County Medical Center offline for days]

ECMC has also said the investigation found no patient records have been compromised. Officials told Buffalo News the hospital website was back up and over 6,000 hard drives were cleared and returned to workstations. However, these computers have not been turned on yet.

The hospital’s electronic health record is partially online but in view-only mode. ECMC’s emergency, ambulatory surgery, transplantation, dentistry and direct admission departments is using an electronic registration process. Financial systems are coming back online and employees are using temporary email.

[Also: New ransomware spotted as targeting healthcare industry]

This week, ECMC will work on establishing a new hospital email system, continue restoring the inpatient EHR system functions, reestablishing electronic communication with lab system, fixing the bed coordinating system and bringing the restored desktop computers back online.

The week of May 1, the hospital will work on electronic transmission of radiological images, physician documentation, further rollout of restored desktop computers and continued restoration of the inpatient EHR.

“Thanks to the hard work, dedication and tireless effort of the ECMC family, patient care continues to be delivered,” ECMC President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr. said in a statement. “Western New Yorkers continue to receive the quality health care services they deserve and have come to expect.”

“Under the circumstances, that’s a strong testament to our caregivers’ commitment and the community’s trust in them,” he said. “We continue to make progress on restoring our computer system.”

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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