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DCH Ongoing Response to Cyberattack and IT System Outage

10/2/2019

 

FAQs: Patient and Community Information Regarding Attack on DCH Computer System

Update Regarding Decryption and System Restoration

October 7 2:30 p.m.

The methodical process of system restoration continues Monday. (See information below.) As we work through this process, all three hospitals will continue to be on diversion for all but most critical patients. Our Emergency Departments will continue to see patients who bring themselves to the hospital.

We cannot provide a specific timetable at this time, but our teams continue to work around the clock to restore normal hospital operations. We expect to be making additional announcements in the coming days, as key systems are restored and more patient services resume.  Meanwhile, we are grateful for the dedication and professionalism of our staff, as they continue using our emergency downtime procedures to provide safe and patient-centered care. 

We are hearing reports that people claiming to be from DCH may be calling or emailing community members in an attempt to get personal information.  Please know that DCH will never call or email patients asking for their personal information.

 

October 5 8:30 a.m.

In collaboration with law enforcement and independent IT security experts, our IT teams have begun a methodical process of system restoration. We have been using our own DCH backup files to rebuild certain system components, and we have obtained a decryption key from the attacker to restore access to locked systems. 

We have successfully completed a test decryption of multiple servers, and we are now executing a sequential plan to decrypt, test and bring systems online one-by-one.  This will be a deliberate progression that will prioritize primary operating systems and essential functions for emergency care.  DCH has thousands of computer devices in its network, so this process will take time.

We cannot provide a specific timetable at this time, but our IT teams continue to work around the clock to restore normal hospital operations, as we incrementally bring system components back online across our medical centers. This will require a time-intensive process to complete, as we will continue testing and confirming secure operations as we go.

As we complete this process, all three hospitals will continue to be on diversion for all but most critical patients through the weekend. Our Emergency Departments will continue to see patients who bring themselves to the hospital.

We expect to be making additional announcements in the coming days, as key systems are restored and more patient services resume.  Meanwhile, we are grateful for the dedication and professionalism of our staff, as they continue using our emergency downtime procedures to provide safe and patient-centered care. 

We will provide continual updates on our website as patient services become available and departments reopen.

Update: Thursday, Oct. 3, 3:30 p.m.

DCH continues its efforts to recover from a cyberattack that began on Oct. 1. While the attack continues to impact DCH’s ability to accept new patients, we are still able to provide critical medical services to those who need it. Patients who have non-emergency medical needs are encouraged to seek assistance from other providers while DCH works to restore our systems.

Outpatient procedures and surgeries scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4 will continue as scheduled. If a patient has a scheduled procedure or test at a DCH hospital, they should call the hospital or their healthcare provider to confirm the appointment. 

DCH Home Health and DCH Home Medical Equipment are fully operational.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or concern caused by this incident.

Oct. 2, 2019

DCH Heath System is in the process of responding to a ransomware attack that has disrupted access to computer systems at DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center. While prioritizing patient care and safety, we are investigating all options for swiftly and securely restoring our IT systems.

Although the attack has impacted DCH’s ability to accept new patients, we are still able to provide critical medical services to those who need it. Patients who have non-emergency medical needs are encouraged to seek assistance from other providers while DCH works to restore our systems. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or concern caused by this incident.

Upon discovery of the incident early on Oct. 1, we immediately implemented emergency procedures to continue providing safe and patient-centered care, and we initiated a comprehensive response that included coordination with law enforcement and engaging independent IT security and forensics experts who are working around the clock to help us understand and resolve this incident. While IT systems are down, medical staff have shifted operations into manual mode and are using paper copies in place of digital records to provide safe care to our patients.

At this time, we have no indication that any data has been misused or removed from our system. However, we are committed to completing a full forensic investigation following resolution of this outage, and we will take all appropriate action in response to our findings.

Our staff of local doctors and nurses are responding to the community’s urgent needs and the needs of current patients in our hospitals. Rest assured, we are maintaining our high standards of care.

Some outpatient procedures are still being conducted at DCH hospitals. If a patient has a scheduled procedure or test at a DCH hospital, they should call the hospital or their healthcare provider to confirm the appointment.  DCH Home Health and DCH Home Medical Equipment are fully operational.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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