Erie County Medical Center facing 8th straight day without full use of computer system

Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., is still in the midst of restoring its computer system, following a virus attack on April 9, says Peter Cutler, vice president of communications and external affairs at ECMC.

The medical center's email system has not yet been restored and staff members are still unable to input data into EMRs. Around 6,000 desktop computers were wiped clean and are still undergoing the restoration process.

However, ECMC has distributed new desktops to each department on a limited basis. Each department has a few computers that are password-protected and certain personnel have those passwords. The staff is able to view patient data on the desktops. Mr. Cutler declined to give a timeline as to when the computer system is expected to be fully restored.

After being hit with the virus, ECMC officials decided to shut down the entire computer system to prevent further damage. The staff used manual, paper-based processes to complete patient-related activities and continues to do so. ECMC officials have neither confirmed nor denied that the incident was a ransomware attack.

"We're making progress," says Mr. Cutler. "We are pleased with the progress we have achieved and are staying focused on the complete restoration of our system, which we hope to have soon."

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