It was reported this week that a hospital in California was locked out its EHR and other IT systems by a ransomware attack by hackers.
Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California was reportedly shut out of its IT system by hackers who used malware that encrypted files on the network. They then demanded a ransom payment for the decryption key that was required to restore access to the system.
While official statements all say that patient care was not affected, reports suggest that the hospital ended up following those “downtime” procedures that make us all cringe. In other words, it was back to paper charts and carbon copy lab requisitions.
To get the decryption key, the hospital paid about $17,000 in bitcoin and got their EHR back online.
While attacks like these are becoming more common, a hospital ransomware attack is pretty rare and hopefully it will stay that way. But it certainly raises some concern, particularly with the push to get clinics & hospitals on EHRs. And then there is all that health data that’s being captured with connected health devices & apps, especially given already recognized security issues in how that data is transmitted and stored.
Source: LA Times