Brooklyn hospital network returns to paper charts weeks after cyberattack

New York

A network of three hospitals in Brooklyn, New York, had to work with paper charts for weeks after a Cyber ​​attack on its computer system in late November, the chief executive of the hospital group told CNN Monday.

One Brooklyn Health CEO LaRay Brown said the hack affected “clinical applications,” including “those used for photography and other critical services,” but many of which have been restored.

It’s an example of how hacks continue to plague hospitals as the coronavirus pandemic drags on — and how difficult and disruptive recovering from hacks can be. for hospital staff.

One Brooklyn Health operates Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center, and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

An employee at Brookdale told the New York Times that because of the hack, the imaging at the medical center had to be sent to a third-party provider rather than performed at home.

“No patients have been adversely affected,” Brown told CNN in an email Monday, adding that hospitals remained open for patients. “We continue to provide care to our patients using the downtime procedures for which our clinicians and managers have been trained.”

Brown said more than 80 percent of the workstations that doctors and One Brooklyn Health staff use to support hospital operations have been restored. She added that hospital managers have begun to include some clinical data in patients’ electronic medical records.

Brown did not respond to questions about whether One Brooklyn Health is dealing with a ransomware attack, lock the computer system until the ransom is paid. But many other hospitals across the country have had to deal with such blackmail attempts.

An IT administrator at a 100-bed hospital in Florida tell CNN how he shut down the facility’s computer systems in January to prevent a ransomware attack from spreading throughout the hospital.

Many hospitals in rural or poor areas do not have the resources to protect their networks from hackers.

Joshua Corman, who helped lead a task force at the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to protect coronavirus research from hacking, said: “Safety and security cannot be allowed. Resilience on the network transcends socioeconomic boundaries. “Most hospitals in the US are target rich, but cyber poor.”

Corman, now vice president of cybersecurity firm Claroty, said the cybersecurity of computer networks that can affect the safety of people “needs to become a national priority”.

Brookdale Hospital is located in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, one of the poorest areas in New York City. It was so overwhelmed and desperate for resources at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New York that one doctor told CNN at the time that his hospital had become a “war zone.”

— Sarah Boxer of CNN contributed to this report


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