GW Hospital majority owner experiences software cyberattack

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Doctors and nurses have been relying on paper backup systems while the outages are being addressed, according to the release.

A technology security problem at the GW Hospital’s majority owner has caused “temporary disruptions” to clinical and financial operations at the company’s hospital locations, according to a release.

Universal Health Services, which oversees the GW Hospital, blamed an IT security issue for technical outages that were reported to have started Sunday morning, according to NBC. The UHS release Monday said the issue has disrupted “certain aspects” of the company’s clinical and financial operations but did not provide any details on how many facilities were affected or whether patients had to be diverted to other hospitals.

Doctors and nurses have been relying on paper backup systems while the outages are being addressed, according to the release.

“In the meantime, while this matter may result in temporary disruptions to certain aspects of our clinical and financial operations, our acute care and behavioral health facilities are utilizing their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods,” the release states. “Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively. At this time, we have no evidence that patient or employee data was accessed, copied or misused.”

John Riggi, a senior cybersecurity adviser to the American Hospital Association, said the issue was a “suspected ransomware attack.”

GW Hospital spokesperson Susan Griffiths could not be reached for comment about whether the issues affected GW Hospital and what hospital staff are doing to offset any possible issues.

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