Pennsylvania Health System Hit by Global Cyber-Virus

Merck also targeted

Heritage Valley Health System, based in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, has been infected by a global malware virus known as Petya that affected the entire health system, including satellite and community locations, according to an article on the FierceHealthcare website. It was the second such attack in Pennsylvania in the past two months.

The integrated health-care system said its laboratory and diagnostic services in “medical neighborhoods and community locations” would be closed and referred patients to its two hospitals. The system has 60 physician offices and 18 community satellite facilities throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and parts of West Virginia.

A patient from Ohio who was prepped for gallbladder surgery told the Associated Press that surgeons were able to complete the operation, but that the health-care system canceled planned surgeries for other patients.

“Corrective measures supplied by our antivirus software vendor have been developed and are being implemented and tested within the health system,” the organization’s website stated. “Additionally, other restorative measures are being undertaken at this time. Heritage Valley continues to implement downtime procedures and make operational adjustments to ensure safe patient care.”

A statement issued on the HITRUST Cyberthreat Xchange website indicated that there were “multiple reports” of health care organizations affected by the malware.

“Given the reported impacts to care delivery and the rate this has spread to other systems and other countries, we consider this a serious incident,” the statement said.

Pharma giant Merck, headquartered in New Jersey, also reported that its computer network was compromised by a cyberattack, but offered no additional details.

Source: FierceHealthcare; June 28, 2017.