UVMHN: Significant gains made in network recovery following cyberattack

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 6:24 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Patient care at the UVM Medical Center continues to be significantly disrupted, following a cyberattack on the hospital’s network. On Monday, officials say that significant gains have been made to recover some information.

That includes detailed clinical plans for chemotherapy patients. The hospital says those patients have been the most impacted by the breach, and they are the first priority. The treatment capacity for chemotherapy patients was at about 45-60 people per day before the attack. Since then, that number has dropped to around 15 patients per day. Some patients have been sent to other hospitals within the network to receive cancer treatments as UVMMC continues to work on expanding its capacity to treat those patients.

We also know computer servers that control many of the phone lines at the UVM Medical Center have been restored. Officials say that will help with communication with patients, but there still may be some challenges with the phone system. The hospital has set up a separate line for patients if they have trouble reaching their provider, 802-847-8888. Patient schedules through this coming weekend have been recovered as well. If you have an appointment, you are still urged to bring as much medical information with you as possible, including medications, known allergies and other medical notes to help doctors.

Patients who have been on the inside of UVMMC tell us that staff had no access to any patient information. Others have said they are dealing with issues after a surgery had been postponed. Hospital officials tell WCAX News that the facility is functioning as normally as it can, but leaders in the network say patients should expect things to not be as organized as usual, and be not as efficient as they would like. In case of an emergency, the emergency departments are still open and operational.

As IT experts and the Vermont National Guard continue to bring the network back to functioning order, the effects of the cyberattack will likely be felt for weeks to come. There is no timeline on when things will be completely operational. UVM Medical Center officials continue to deny this is a ransomware attack.

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