Editorial: Nebraska Medicine must inform patients about the hacker attack details | Editorial

Our wired world unavoidably puts our personal information at potential risk. The points of vulnerability are many: Our home computers. Banks and credit unions. Online retailers. Government agencies.

Indeed, the health care sector has been regularly a target of hackers across the country. Nebraska has had several examples. Malware, brought in by a third-party vendor’s device, struck a CHI Health location in 2019. The year before, a hacker accessed patient information at Boys Town National Research Hospital.

Last week, Nebraska Medicine became the latest health care facility targeted in our state for cyberattack. The assault — described as a “significant information technology system downtime event” — led the hospital to postpone patient appointments, with staff resorting to old-style charting of medical information.

Nebraska Medicine has since regained its footing in terms of service delivery.

“People have done a yeoman’s job in making sure we deliver good patient care,” the hospital’s CEO, Dr. James Linder, told The World-Herald. Nebraska Medicine kept its emergency rooms open and didn’t need to divert patients to other hospitals.

The hospital’s information system retains patients’ electronic medical records.

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