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Valley Health System computer networks restored after cyberattack

Valley Health System computer networks were restored Monday in the Las Vegas Valley, two weeks after a cyberattack struck Universal Health Services medical facilities across the country.

“All six Valley Health System hospitals are online again, using the electronic medical records, lab and pharmacy applications,” said Valley Health System spokeswoman Gretchen Papez.

Universal Health Services, which operates Valley Heath System, said it shut down computer networks across the U.S. following a cyberattack on Sept. 27. UHS operates more than 400 hospitals and clinical care facilities across the U.S. and United Kingdom. Only U.S. facilities were affected, according to the company.

UHS said it resorted to using “established back-up processes including offline documentation methods.” One clinician in Washington, D.C., told The Associated Press that the loss of computer access meant that medical personnel could not easily see lab results, imaging scans, medication lists and other critical pieces of information that doctors rely on to make decisions.

Valley Health System facilities include Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center, Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, Henderson Hospital, Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center, Summerlin Hospital Medical Center and Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Other hospitals in the Las Vegas Valley said they had seen an influx of patients as a result of the Valley Health System’s networks being down.

In a statement Monday, UHS said that its U.S. hospitals “are resuming normal operations.” The majority of its behavioral health facilities also were back online.

UHS, a Fortune 500 company with 90,000 employees, said it had “no indication that any patient or employee data was accessed, copied or misused.”

The attack was a suspected ransomware attack, in which hackers infect networks with malicious code that scrambles data and then demand payment to restore services.

UHS did not confirm that it was a ransomware attack or say whether any ransom was paid.

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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