West Virginia hospital forced to replace its computer system after recent cyberattack

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Princeton Community Hospital in southern West Virginia plans to rebuild its network after being hit by Petya.

A hospital in rural West Virginia is scrapping its entire computer system after this week’s cyberattack that impacted industries across the globe.

Princeton Community Hospital, located on the southern border of West Virginia, has been dealing with computer outages from the Petya attack since Tuesday, according to a post on the hospital’s Facebook page.

“Our data appears secure, intact, and not hacked into; yet we are unable to access the data from the old devices on the network,” the post read.

The hospital, which uses Meditech as its EHR vendor, plans to replace the infected computer system entirely, installing new hard drives on all connected devices, rebuilding its network and pulling in backup records. For now, medical staff are working primarily from pen and paper, although the hospital has placed several new computers in “strategic locations” throughout the facility to allow clinicians to access basic patient information from its EHR system.

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The hospital maintained access to all inpatient and outpatient services, although it experienced some delays in radiology. Over the last several days, the ER continued to accept life-threatening medical cases, but diverted nonemergency ambulances, according to The Wall Street Journal. By Thursday morning, the ER was accepting all patients.

“We anticipate that within a few days, we will have significant functionality returned throughout the organization,” the hospital said on Thursday evening.

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Princeton Community Hospital is the second medical facility in the U.S. to publicly reveal it has been affected by the cyberattack known as Petya. Heritage Valley Health System in Pennsylvania was also experiencing disruption from the malware attack this week, as well as New Jersey-based drugmaker, Merck. On Wednesday, the company said it had “contained the problem” and was working on recovery.

 

Nuance Healthcare, which provides speech recognition and medical transcription software for providers, was still working through disruptions from the attack. On Friday morning, the company posted a list of products that were not affected. 

Meanwhile, cybersecurity researchers at Comae and Kaspersky Lab reported that the Petya attack was not ransomware, as most originally believed. Instead, the malware was identified as a “wiper,” which destroys data rather than encrypting it for a ransom.