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Jones Memorial Recovers From EHR Downtime Due to Cyberattack

The hospital in western New York has recovered from a two-week period of EHR downtime.

EHR Downtime

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Jones Memorial Hospital (JMH) officials recently announced its systems are back online after a period of EHR downtime lasting about two weeks.

A cyberattack at the Wellsville hospital forced staff to temporarily revert to manually entering patient health data and other information into medical records while the computer network was compromised. In the weeks after the cyberattack, IT experts from JMH teamed up with hospitals IT professionals from University of Rochester, Noyes, and St. James to bring all systems back online.

“The leadership of Jones appreciates their dedication and hard work in helping to restore our systems.”
 stated JMH in a bulletin on its website. “The collaboration that enabled Jones to solve the downtime issue efficiently represents one of the many benefits of Jones’ affiliation with UR Medicine.”

JMH also worked closely with its health IT vendor — MEDITECH — to recover from EHR downtime. With systems restored, the hospital will gradually return to relying completely on EHRs rather than paper records.

“Our doctors, nurses and staff members are working with records electronically, and patients coming to our hospital or clinics for services no longer need to bring their medication lists or medical history,” the hospital said. “For a few days staff members will continue to do some record-keeping manually, but we expect to resume full operational status of all digital systems next week.”

JMH officials maintain no patient financial or medical information was compromised during the security incident.

“We also thank our patients and staff for their patience during this downtime,” the hospital stated. “We have continued to provide high-quality care throughout this event, using the standard computer downtime procedures we regularly train and prepare for.”

As part of its effort to maintain a high level of care quality throughout the period of EHR downtime, JMH also utilized its connection to the regional health information organization (RHIO) to access some patient health records.

JMH hospital staff have employed several safeguards to protect against security incidents in the future, according to the bulletin.

“Based on these improvements, information at Jones will be as secure as at virtually any other health system,” stated JMH.

The hospital will continually evaluate and update its security measures to lessen the chances of another cyberattack affecting its EHR system in the future. 

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