Maryland's Largest Health Care Provider Recovering from Hack

As of Friday morning, "we are approaching 90 percent functionality of our systems," MedStar Health reported.

Hackers who encrypted hospital data and reportedly asked for a ransom payment in Bitcoin caused MedStar Health, Maryland's largest health care provider, to shut down all of its computer systems this week. The company reported that malware affected its IT system early Monday morning and, by Friday morning, April 1, "we were approaching 90 percent functionality of our systems. Our three main clinical information systems supporting patient care—the inpatient Electronic Health Record (EHR), outpatient EHR, and our registration and scheduling system—are functioning. Numerous other systems are also back online, and we are working on the remaining clinical and administrative systems that connect to our network and are resolving unique, site-specific issues on a real-time basis."

In addition, the company said it had found no evidence that patient or associate information or data had been compromised.

MedStar Health operates 10 hospitals, has 31,000 employees and 6,000 affiliated physicians, and provides care for more than 500,000 patients each year in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region.

Patients and family members reported delays in service and confusion over treatment, and some cancer patients could not get radiation treatment for several days, The Baltimore Sun’s Ian Duncan and Andrea K. McDaniels reported. According to their story, the company reported it had not paid any ransom to obtain digital keys to access the encrypted data.

"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," said Kenneth A. Samet, president and CEO of 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."

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