How UVM Medical Center continued care after ransomware attack took down its IT network

Burlington, Vt.-based UVM Medical Center worked with Epic and its clinical and IT teams to get its health system up and running after a ransomware attack took down its IT network and applications in October, JDSupra reported June 13. 

The attack, which occured on Oct. 28, placed malware on more than 5,000 hospital computers and laptops, which encrypted files and data on 1,300 servers, costing the health system $40 million to $50 million, mostly in lost revenue. 

Here's how UVM Medical Center was able to continue to provide care while its systems were compromised:

  1. Some of the UVM Medical Center's computers were purposefully not connected to its network, which allowed the health system to print out patient information to continue care after it was forced to take its Epic EHR system offline.

  2. UVM Medical Center worked with Epic to set up a "back door," which allowed it to print out the information on who was coming in, what the schedules were and basic health information about patients. 

  3. A statewide health exchange also allowed UVM providers to access problems, medications, allergies and other core information about their patients while their systems were down.

  4. UVM separated its IT and clinical incident response teams. This helped both teams decide what was necessary to get IT systems and clinical services up and running.

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