Statement from MedStar Health Regarding Computer Downtime
March 29, 2016
Significant progress is being made toward restoring functionality of MedStar Health’s IT system, which was affected by malware early Monday morning. At the early signs of an issue, our team quickly made a decision to take down all of our systems as a precaution and to ensure no further corruption.
After a careful assessment and testing overnight, we are working to restore the majority of our IT systems today. We are using backup systems, including paper documentation—a process used before the advancements of technology—where necessary, and as an additional layer of support to our clinical operations. We will continue to partner with experts in the field of IT and cybersecurity, as well as law enforcement, to continually assess the situation as we safely restore functionality.
Every caregiver across the system is trained to prepare for these types of challenges, and our patients can be assured that their team of caregivers is well coordinated. Patients should feel confident that they will receive excellent care, and can continue to rely on our commitment to provide the highest levels of quality and safe care.
With a few unique exceptions, all of our doors remain open. As we shared yesterday, the safety of our patients and associates and the privacy of their information is our utmost concern. We have no evidence that patient information has been compromised or stolen in any way. Patient information will not be added to any system without ensuring it is completely free of any and all viruses and security threats.
“Despite the challenges affecting MedStar Health’s IT systems, the quality and safety of our patients remains our highest priority, which has not waned throughout this experience. Fortunately, the core ways in which we deliver patient care cannot be altered, manipulated or harmed by malicious attempts to disrupt the services we provide,” Stephen R.T. Evans, MD, executive vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, MedStar Health. “Our ability to serve our patients and their families depends first and foremost on our caregivers, and their expert knowledge and compassion focused on each patient.”
“The attempt to negatively impact an institution designed to save lives and care for those in need is a sad and troublesome reality of our times, not only for MedStar Health, but for our entire industry and the communities we serve,” says Kenneth A. Samet, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, MedStar Health. “Fortunately, thanks to the expertise and dedication of our clinical and IT teams, we are addressing the current issue in an expeditious and thoughtful manner, never losing sight of our responsibility to our patients.”
Ann C. Nickels
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