Appalachian delivery system struggles with cyber attack

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Appalachian Regional Healthcare, serving eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, is still in the process of mitigating a cyber attack that was discovered on Saturday morning.

All facilities and services remain open across the 11-hospital delivery system, which includes multi-specialty practices, home healthcare agencies, retail pharmacies and durable medical equipment outlets.

In an update it issued on Tuesday, the organization said it currently has no reason to believe that protected health information or financial information for patients and employees has been accessed, but executives say they will take prompt protective actions if necessary.

Registration, medication, imaging and lab services are being handled manually, and the organization is asking patients to bring prescribed medications and medical history when visiting a physician or the emergency department.

Critically ill patients are being regularly assessed to determine if they should be transferred, according to a statement.

“ARH continues to work with authorities and computer experts to address the problems and restore our systems to operational capacity as quickly as possible,” the organization’s statement said. “We appreciate the extra efforts of our outstanding workforce, and the patience of the people we serve, as we work through the inconvenience of having computer systems out of service.”

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