Allscripts Ransomware by Steven Mussey MD

The government shutdown has diverted everyone’s attention from another huge story:  Your medical information was compromised this past week.
Medical records are important.  Records list your medical problems and drug allergies.  When you see the doctor, medical records are critical to appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
The office schedule is important.  It tells the staff who is coming in for the day. If you don’t have the schedule, everyone in the office just stares dumbly at the door, wondering who will walk in next.
Beginning last Thursday, January 18, many doctors lost access to all of their patients’ records.  They were forced with two options: Try and see patients as best as possible, working blindly, or simply close their doors.
Allscripts is one of the biggest Electronic Medical Records providers in our region.  They promote the security of “the cloud.”  As long as your doctor has an internet connection, access to your records is easy, safe and secure.
Until…. The cloud is hit with Ransomware, locking up data so no one can access it.
Allscripts released this statement: “Allscripts is investigating a ransomware attack impacting a limited number of applications.”
Actually, that’s a lie.
It was not limited.
It knocked out the whole freaking thing.  It was huge… gigantic… total.
Your doctor cannot access your medical records.  …Period!
Since Thursday, medical offices have been totally dead in the water.   Offices cannot even access their schedules.
Allscripts did a conference call on Friday and it consisted of nothing more than “we are working on this.”  Important questions went unanswered.
Was patient data altered?  “We don’t think so….”
Was patient data lost?  “So far, we don’t think so.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”
How comforting….
Impacted doctors are furious.
Patients should also be angry and afraid because their safety is threatened.
As of this writing, day number four, the service is still partially down.
This flawed system of electronic medical records has been forced down the throats of physicians at a very high cost.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “Allscripts Ransomware by Steven Mussey MD

  1. Perry
    January 24, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Not only am I concerned about medical records, what about name, birthdate and SS#? This is a disaster of “Epic” proportions.

  2. Hawgguy
    January 24, 2018 at 10:27 am

    EMR – An idea so good it had to be mandatory.

    In another generation, there will be none of us left that remember efficient, succinct, secure paper records.

    Then, no one will complain.

  3. RSW
    January 24, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Strange, we didn’t have any problems.

    Oh, that’s right . . . we use paper charts.

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