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Nebraska Medicine hit by cyber attack

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Posted at 9:34 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 22:34:36-04

OMAHA, NE — After several days of reporting IT and computer issues at Nebraska Medicine, a spokesperson for the medical center tonight sent out a statement saying the institution was the victim of a cyber attack.

The spokesperson said law enforcement has been informed and that the medical center has contingency plans in place for this kind of situation.

The statement from Nebraska Medicine said that no needed surgeries or medical treatments have been postponed because of the attack, but non-critical appointments have been postponed.

The statement did not say if or when the computer systems would be fully functional again.

3 News Now received several messages from staff at Nebraska Medicine over the last few days saying the attack caused severe disruptions in the facility.

Below is the full statement:

Earlier this week Nebraska Medicine experienced a significant information technology system downtime event. This downtime is the result of a cyber security attack. We notified law enforcement and activated our extensive and well planned contingency plans supported by trainings to prepare for these kinds of IT system situations. This includes prioritizing patients who have appointments or surgeries that are critical to their health and wellbeing. We have continued to see patients, as scheduled, using alternative, standardized processes to record and transmit information manually. For patients with elective procedures and appointments that were not critical in nature, we have rescheduled them and apologized for the inconvenience. Our emergency room remains open and we have not diverted any patients who arrive there.

The attacks on health care organizations are rapidly increasing, and we are constantly assessing our security measures to help prevent cyber security incidents. Our back-up and recovery processes assured that no patients’ electronic medical records were deleted or destroyed. We are grateful for our innovative and proactive IT team for implementing procedures that are enabling us to restore operations very quickly. We anticipate that normal operations will resume in days. The patience and professionalism that has been demonstrated by our staff and our providers during this difficult time has been remarkable, and we cannot thank them enough. We remain committed to providing extraordinary care, and will do everything we can to minimize any further disruption to our patients.