Tallahassee (Florida) Memorial Healthcare (TMH) is diverting some Emergency Medical Services (EMS) patients to other hospitals following an “IT security issue.” The incident began late in the day on Thursday, February 2. TMH has taken its IT systems off-line as a precautionary measure and is operating under electronic health record (HER) downtime procedures.
- With the prior attack on Atlantic General in Maryland, this is the first time in a year or so that multiple hospitals have been forced into downtime due to cyber-attacks. If you think your hospital is impacted, check their web site to verify which services are available, don’t rely on third-party interpretation of impacts. Ask yourself, if you and your industry peers were impacted at the same time, how could you benefit from collaboration, then pick up the phone and call them to discuss further.
- The scourge that is ransomware, err ‘IT security issue,’ continues to affect the healthcare sector globally. TMH is to be applauded for: 1) proactively managing patient intake; and, 2) having and executing its cyber response plan. One aspect for the After Action Report (AAR) is understanding how the security issue began in order to make adjustments to their patch management process and enterprise architecture.
- The use of electronic health records by hospitals should not put patients at risk. Applications must be more robust and procedures should be in place to practice medicine even when EHR systems fail.
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