Hospitals: Patient information safe in EORH, OVMC computer attack

MARTINS FERRY — Emergency squad patients are being diverted away from East Ohio Regional Hospital and Ohio Valley Medical Center this weekend because the hospitals’ computer system has been attacked by Ransomware.

Karin Janiszewski, director of marketing and public relations for EORH and OVMC. confirmed Saturday afternoon that a Ransomware attack had occurred. The incident began Friday night.

Area emergency squads began transporting patients to other area hospitals after receiving notification of the full diversion.

“At the moment, our emergency rooms are unable to take patients by E-squads, but we can take patients by walk-in,” Janiszewski said. “Our IT team is working around the clock right now and we expect to have the issue resolved by (Sunday).”

Daniel Dunmyer, CEO of OVMC, said, “The OVMC-EORH employees and medical staff have been very adaptive and supportive and we are able to continue with quality patient care.”

Explaining the impact of the Ransomware incident, Janiszewski said, “We have redundant security, so the attack was able to get through the first layer but not the second layer.

“There has been no patient information breach,” she said. “The hospitals are switching to paper charting to ensure patient data protection.”

Dunmyer added that the hospitals’ information technology team took several computer systems offline “to protect the integrity of all information.”

By definition, Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish data or block access to data unless a ransom is paid.


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