CommonSpirit in Chicago faces ‘IT security issues’ in multiple states

A large nonprofit health system with 140 hospitals in 21 states, CommonSpirit Health, is reporting an “IT security issue” that has disrupted operations in multiple states.

A company spokesperson would not explain the nature of the cyberattack explicitly, such as whether the organization’s IT network was hit by ransomware.

The Des Moines Registry said the incident occurred Monday and forced the redirection of ambulances from the emergency department of the city’s Mercy One Medical Center to other medical facilities. Chattanoogan reported that CHI Memorial Hospital was among the affected facilities.

In a statement on Tuesday, CommonSpirit said it had taken “several IT systems offline” including electronic health records as a precaution and rescheduled some patient appointments. It will not indicate whether patient records have been accessed. It also does not indicate when an apparent violation was discovered.

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The Chicago Company, founded in 2019 from the association of the Catholic Health and Dignity Health Initiatives, serves 20 million Americans with more than 1,000 care sites located along the coast.

Healthcare is classified by the US government as one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors, and healthcare providers are considered ripe targets for hackers.

If patient data is accessed, healthcare providers are required by law to notify the Department of Health and Human Services.

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