HIE Provides Hospital with Vital Patient Data after Ransomware Attack

A health information exchange in Western New York provided critical help after a recent ransomware attack on the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., which crippled operations at the 602-bed hospital.

HEALTHeLINK, the regional HIE, enabled ECMC clinicians to access vitally important healthcare data while its electronic health record system was down in the hours, days and weeks after the devastating April 9 malware incident.

ECMC’s IT department detected the file-encrypting ransomware on that Sunday morning and, as a precautionary measure, shut down the hospital’s Meditech EHR, email and website, among other IT systems.

However, that caused problems for physicians and nurses in getting crucial health information to ensure the continuous and safe care of patients in the emergency department and other parts of the hospital. Confronted with an urgent need for data assistance, ECMC turned to HEALTHeLINK, resulting in unprecedented collaboration between the two organizations.

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(Source: Health Data Management)