UF Health Central Florida back online

by | Jun 28, 2021



After nearly a month of relying on “old school tactics” to deliver modern healthcare following a cyber-attack at the end of May, UF Health Central Florida is back online.

UF Health announced the system was restored Friday.

Over the last few weeks, there were multiple reports of healthcare workers at the affected facilities using pen and paper and phone calls to keep and share patient records as the hospitals tried to repair the damage caused by the cyber-attack.

The UF Health spokesman Frank Faust said in an emailed statement to The Capitolist,  “When UF Health Central Florida experienced a cybersecurity event the night of May 31, out of an abundance of caution, the team responded quickly by disconnecting its clinical application network from the organization’s servers and implementing a series of backup and downtime procedures — including relying on paper documentation — to enable staff to continue to provide safe, effective patient care. Since that time, IT teams from UF Health’s Central Florida, Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses have worked diligently in collaboration with outside consultants to investigate the cause of the event and safely restore all computer systems as quickly as possible.

“UF Health information technology team was able to successfully restore our electronic medical record system, representing a major milestone in our journey toward full return to normal network operations. Significant progress has been made in the overall system restoration effort, including successful reintegration of a number of key clinical applications.”

Thousands of patients at UF Health Leesburg Hospital, UF Health The Villages® Hospital and a number of outpatient and physician clinics were affected by the cyber security hack.

The Villages-News said the attack was suspected to be caused by ransomware. They reported the attackers reportedly demanded a $5 million ransom, although UF Health would not confirm that.

Faust said the matter is currently under investigation and expects it to take a while to be resolved. “We will provide as much information as possible as the investigation progresses, bearing in mind that security, privacy and law enforcement considerations may impact the amount of detail we can provide.

“In the meantime, we would like to thank the community for its support and reinforce our commitment to continuing to meet their health care needs,” Faust said.

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