Ransomware attack, COVID-19 response delay Epic EHR rollout at UVM Health

University of Vermont Health Network is revising its Epic EHR implementation schedule amid efforts to restore normal operations following an October ransomware attack as well as its ongoing COVID-19 response, according to a Jan. 4 Vermont Business Magazine report.

UVM Medical Center was hit by a ransomware attack Oct. 28, 2020, which caused the Burlington, Vt.-based health system to shut down its applications and IT network, including the Epic EHR.

The attack costs UVM Health about $1.5 million per day in lost revenue and expenses to restore its computer systems, which are not yet back to full operations. UVM did not pay a ransom and no patient or staff information was accessed as a result of the incident.

Six details:

1. Under the new EHR implementation timeline, the second phase of the launch is set for November at inpatient units at Porter Medical Center and Central Vermont Medical Center, as well as inpatient and outpatient units at Alice Hyde Park Medical Center.

2. The third go-live phase will include inpatient units at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and inpatient and outpatient units at Elizabethtown Community Hospital in April 2022.

3. With the previously scheduled second phase go-live set for March, health system leaders chose to modify the plan to better navigate additional challenges created by the ransomware attack.

4. UVM Health Network President and CEO John Brumsted, MD, highlighted the need for the revised scheduled in light of the pandemic and cyberattack: "An [EHR] is one of the most significant things we can do to ensure high quality care and create a seamless experience for our patients. That is why it is absolutely critical to our patients, our people, and our communities that we get the implementation of this system right," he said.

5. The proposed timelines are contingent upon approval from the Green Mountain Care Board.

6. The health system completed the first phase of the EHR implementation in November 2019, which included additional clinical and administrative capabilities for inpatient and outpatient settings at Central Vermont Medical Center, Porter Medical Center and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital.


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