After malware attack, Samaritan restores main computer system

Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 4:31 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Three weeks after a malware attack forced Samaritan Medical Center to shut down its computer systems, the main system is back online.

In a statement Wednesday, Samaritan said the system which handles patient records, payroll and accounting has been restored.

“The successful reinstatement of the primary EMR application marks significant progress,” according to the hospital’s statement.

Because the computer system is now operating again, the hospital can resume regular patient registration and scheduling.

An attack on Samaritan’s computer systems three weeks ago forced the hospital to take all of its 1,400 computers offline and resort to pen and paper to keep track of things.

Last week, Samaritan restored computer systems which assisted in delivering drugs and radiation therapy, which gave doctors access to patient X-Rays and other medical images and which allowed doctors and nurses to talk with each other, where ever they are in the hospital.

The hospital has declined to say whether the computer attack was “ransomware,” in which the hospital is threatened with the loss of all its records if it doesn’t pay thousands of dollars. Hospitals around the world have been targeted by ransomware, because the information they have is so critical, and they use so many computers.

Samaritan says there is no evidence patient or employee records were compromised.

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