CHI Health faces ‘IT security incident’ impacting Omaha-area online systems

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CHI Health locations in Omaha are dealing with an “IT security incident” affecting electronic health records and other systems, a spokeswoman said Monday.

According to Taylor Miller, CHI’s parent company, CommonSpirit Health, was the victim of the security incident that is impacting facilities across the country. She said some information technology systems have been taken offline as a “precautionary measure.”

All CHI Health facilities in Omaha — including Lakeside Hospital, Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy and Immanuel Medical Center — have been impacted.

“Our facilities are following existing protocols for system outages and taking steps to minimize the disruption,” Miller said in a statement. “We take our responsibility to ensure the privacy of our patients and IT security very seriously.”

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This isn’t the first time that Omaha hospitals, including CHI Health, have faced computer security issues. In February 2019, a device brought into a CHI Health location by a third-party vendor introduced a virus, also known as malware, into the health system’s network.

That required the health system to shut down some devices used to access medical records — specifically portable ones — until teams could check them and make sure they were not infected.

In September 2020, Nebraska Medicine was the target of a cyberattack that shut down computer systems for days. Patients were unable to access online medical and billing information, and nonurgent appointments were postponed.