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CommonSpirit’s Ransomware Incident Taking Toll on Patients

Also: Why Some Facilities Are Affected While Others Are Not

… “The reliance on the electronic medical record continues to grow and that is to be expected,” says Susan Lucci, senior privacy and security consultant at tw-Security. Information like allergies, recent diagnoses, and current medications can influence patient care decision-making, she says. “This is another reason why everyone should have their own medical records, their dependent children, or aging parents in some format in the event that access to the EHR is not available.”

… The Catholic hospital chain is the result of several mergers and acquisitions involving other healthcare organizations, including the combination of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health in early 2019.

The “mix and match” of IT systems across CommonSpirit in the wake of its various mergers and acquisitions is likely a key factor in why the ransomware affected some parts of the organization and not others, says Keith Fricke, principle consultant at tw-Security.

It’s also possible that some elements of the hospital chain simply have better cybersecurity visibility and response capacities, Fricke says.


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