OVMC, EORH Hope To Have Emergency Rooms Back Online

Officials of Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital hope to have their emergency rooms fully operational today as efforts continue to remedy a cyberattack on the hospitals’ computer system.

“We’ve made great progress but we are not there yet,” Daniel Dunmyer, CEO of OVMC, said Monday. “It’s taken hours for significant improvement but it will take days for finalization.

“We are rebuilding what we can rebuild. We are restoring what we can restore,” he said regarding the information technology process.

Emergency squad patients were diverted away from OVMC in Wheeling and EORH in Martins Ferry over the weekend. The full diversion occurred after the hospitals’ computer system was attacked Friday night by Ransomware.

By Monday, remediation had progressed to the point that only a partial diversion of emergency room traffic was necessary.

At mid-day, Dunmyer said, “We have gone to paper charting with success. The emergency room is now in yellow diversion — meaning the EMS can call in to the ER and we can let them know if it’s a case we can take.

“As of right now, the software needed to expertly read X-rays and radiology is being rebuilt. It should be complete by (today) and we can go off of diversion entirely,” he added.

Dunmyer emphasized that confidentiality of patients’ personal information had not been compromised by the attack of Ransomware.

“The most important part is that none of our patient records were involved,” he said.

The CEO praised the response by the OVMC-EORH employees and medical staff after the cyberattack occurred.

“Again, we can’t say enough good about how the medical team and staff has handled this situation,” he said.

By definition, Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish data or block access to data unless a ransom is paid. Hospital officials have not indicated whether a payment of ransom was required in this case.

OVMC-EORH officials also did not say if a criminal investigation would be launched into the source of the cyberattack.

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