The rise of ransomware attacks on healthcare industry is continuing and the latest incident being attack on the Ohio Hospital System.
The ransomware attack infected computer systems at the East Ohio Regional Hospital (EORH) and Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC) which had resulted in the disruption of the hospitals’ emergency rooms.
The Ohio Hospital System was affected by the ransomware on Friday, Nov. 23, evening and the hospitals were not able to accept ER patients via emergency responders. The emergency squad patients were diverted from their facilities to other area hospital emergency rooms. The patients were transported to other local hospitals after receiving notification of the full diversion.
Karin Janiszewski, director of marketing and public relations for the hospitals, explained that the two hospitals were able to handle walk-in ER patients. After the attack the emergency rooms were unable to take patients by E-squads, but could take patients by walk-in.
In order to protect the patient health information, the hospitals’ IT teams took several computers offline. Even though the hospitals are unable to care for emergency squad patients, clinical operations in other units and care settings are proceeding as normal.
Fortunately, no data was exposed due to the ransomware attack and there has been no patient information breach.
On Saturday the hospital had switched to paper charting systems as a result of the period of EHR downtime. Shutting down computer networks and switching to paper charting helped to ensure patient data remains protected.