Maine’s Northern Light Health takes electronic records offline as computer systems “compromised”

Yesterday (4 February) integrated health delivery system Northern Light Health in Maine, USA, reported that patient record systems have been taken offline as of Saturday 3 February, as monitoring systems indicated that a number of computer services had become compromised.

Northern Light Health states that whilst none of the affected servers contained patient information, the decision was made to take “all sensitive information systems offline ourselves, including our electronic health record” whilst the incident is investigated, “out of an abundance of caution”.

The system reports that the unplanned network downtime does not affect patient care, with all hospitals remaining open and business conducted via paper rather than via electronic means. It has also been specified that Northern Light Health has full control of its heating, ventilation, air conditioning and security systems, with no contact made by a third party and no indication that information is being held for ransom.

In the latest website update, posted yesterday, Northern Light Health states that its teams have been working “around the clock” over the weekend to review the servers and ensure that they are in working order. This work is continuing overnight in Maine, with the system anticipating that its electronic records will be back online today.

It is expected that the system will provide updates on the situation via its website here.

In other news from the US: MIT researchers have developed AI-based risk prediction models designed to support early interventions for pancreatic cancer; and the US Department of Health and Human Services announced the finalisation of a rule on interoperability and algorithm transparency.