New York health system continues to treat patients after cyberattack

Two New York hospitals remain open even as their systems work to recover from a cyberattack.

Westchester Medical Center Health Network announced Friday that the attack affected HealthAlliance in the Hudson Valley, including HealthAlliance Hospital, Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center.

Starting Friday night, the system temporarily diverted ambulances from both hospitals, Westchester said, but by Saturday night the diversion had ended. The system said both hospitals continued to treat walk-in patients during the diversion.

The system says hospitals will continue to see most patients, but emergency stroke patients will continue to be temporarily transferred to other facilities.

As part of the network recovery process, the hospital temporarily transferred patients as staff shut down all IT systems at the two hospitals and the nursing home. Mr Westchester said the process of getting IT systems back on track was “ongoing”.

However, it said the system “has regained all the necessary capacity to resume full operations.”

Josh Ratner, CEO of Hudson Valley Health Alliance and executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Westchester, commends staff for working to reduce service and care disruptions. issued a statement.

“I would like to applaud everyone at Health Alliance Hospital, Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center for their hard work and dedication in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances. As we quickly return to full operations, we continue to provide the best care possible to our community’s patients,” Ratner said in a statement.

Westchester said the system has alerted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, and the organization is working with a cybersecurity firm to determine the scope of the attack.

According to the American Hospital Association, there were more than 220 cyberattacks targeting hospitals and healthcare systems in the first half of 2023.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there have been nearly 500 data breaches involving personal health information this year. Organizations that have a breach that affects at least 500 people must notify the Department of Health.

Some large-scale breaches have affected millions of people by exposing personal health data.

Several cybersecurity experts spoke with the Chief Healthcare Executive® about the difficult choices hospitals face in ransomware attacks.

read more: Paying the ransom: Cyberattacks force hospitals to make difficult decisions

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