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In record time: Just one month after the cyberattack, Hillel Yaffe has returned to regular activity

1/12/2021

The cyberattack on Hillel Yaffe Medical Center led to the locking of the hospital’s information systems which included, during the first stage, a lack of access to the patients’ medical history. At Hillel Yaffe, the staff had to find unique and fast solutions, which included, among others, setting up alternative systems and changing to writing things down by hand. Just one month after the incident, the hospital, including the operating rooms and out-patient clinics, has returned to regular activity.

 

It is important to note that at no stage were the essential medical systems harmed, and the hospital continued to provide medical services for the patients, initially on a limited basis, to be especially cautious until the challenge created was clarified, and later, with the gradual return of the information systems, the activity was extended. Likewise, no patient data was leaked, and the patients’ medical information was restored.

 

Over the past month, the employees of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center and various teams in the fields of information systems and computerization have toiled around the clock, so as to first launch alternative systems, and later to reestablish the operating systems, synchronize data, and more. All the activity was carried out while setting high standards regarding information protection, which will be applied from now onwards in all health organizations in Israel.

 


Nurses in Hillel Yaffe Medical Center's Emergency Room. All systems are operating regularly

 

 

It should be noted, that according to the data published by hospitals and medical organizations worldwide, who experienced similar attacks, this was, apparently, the fastest recovery by a medical center from an incident of this size.

 

Director of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center Dr. Mickey Dudkiewicz: “The involvement and immediate harnessing, from the moment of the cyberattack, of the Government Hospitals Division, the Ministry of Health, and other bodies, helped the hospital quickly return to normal activity, while providing the best possible solutions. Alongside this, coping with the great complexity which our staff had to deal with, in the rapid and essential transition to handwritten forms for every activity in the hospital, is also praiseworthy. Undoubtedly, what happened here will be studied by others, and particularly, help various organizations avoid such situations as far as possible in the future, and if they do experience such an incident – it will help them cope and recover rapidly.”

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