Initial assessment shows Erie County Medical Center computer virus attack did not compromise medical records

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Erie County Medical Center's IT team has found no initial indication that patient health information was compromised as a result of a computer virus attack on April 9. The medical center is still in the process of restoring its computer system, and staff members have been using manual, paper-based processes to complete patient-related activities.

The medical center shut down its computer system after discovering a computer virus in the early hours of April 9. The hospital's IT staff is working with Troy, N.Y.-based GrayCastle Security, a cybersecurity services provider to restore the computer system. The IT professionals are also conducting ongoing assessments, and early analysis shows that medical records were not compromised.

The state police and FBI are investigating the incident as well. ECMC officials have neither confirmed nor denied the nature of the security incident and whether it involved ransomware.

Thus far, the hospital's website has been restored and more than 6,000 hard drives have been cleaned. However, EMRs are still functioning in a "view-only" mode, with staff members not able to input data.

Next week, the hospital hopes to establish a new hospital email system and rollout restored desktop computers. It will also continue a phased restoration of EMR-related functions.

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