Hospital chain that oversees DC hospital recovering from cyberattack

The hospital chain Universal Health Services, which oversees D.C.’s George Washington University Hospital, said it is progressing with restoring operations after significant impacts from a cyberattack last month.

The attack occurred on Sept. 27, and the description of what happened was consistent with a “malware variety that encrypts data into gibberish that can only be restored with software keys after ransoms are paid,” The Associated Press reported.

UHS said that upon discovery, it quickly disconnected all systems and shut down the network. Staff at affected hospitals and clinics had to rely on manual record-keeping, and employees described “chaotic conditions impeding patient care.”

Despite the disruption, patient care continued to be delivered “safely and effectively.”

The recovery process has completed for all servers at its corporate data center, UHS said, and connectivity has been restored for all U.S.-based inpatient facilities.

The IT network and medical record system at George Washington University Hospital were restored this week, a UHS spokesperson told The Washington Post.

The electronic medical record system was not directly affected. In a statement, the company said there was no indication that patient or employee data was “accessed, copied or misused.”

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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