Liberty Hospital Cyber Attack Forces Kansas City to Transfer Patients and Reschedule Appointments

Written by Mitchell Langley

December 27, 2023

Liberty Hospital Cyber Attack Forces Kansas City to Transfer Patients and Reschedule Appointments

A hospital in the vicinity of Kansas City, Missouri, is facing challenges in delivering patient care due to a cyberattack that has affected its computer systems.

According to an update provided on Wednesday. the Liberty Hospital Cyber Attack, the disruptions to its computer systems, which started on Tuesday, are still being addressed. Initially, the hospital had to transfer some patients to other healthcare facilities, but the situation has now stabilized.

“Overnight we continued to care for patients following standard downtime protocols. We did not transfer any additional patients to other facilities overnight. Today we continue to actively investigate the source of the disruption,” the hospital said in the update.

In addition to prioritizing patient safety and care, the hospital is working towards restoring its systems, although this process will take time.

Liberty Hospital Cyber Attack Impact

Meanwhile, the primary and specialty care clinics are still seeing certain patients and are reaching out to reschedule appointments as necessary. Patients needing prescription refills are advised to contact their provider’s office.

On Tuesday, the hospital advised individuals in need of medical assistance to seek care at other hospitals. As a result, some patients were transferred to other facilities, and local news outlets reported that the hospital sought help from fire and emergency medical services, including the Kansas City Fire Department, to assist with patient transfers.

According to Battalion Chief Mike Hopkins, the fire department transported approximately 30 patients, while emergency medical services transferred another 10 to 15 individuals to different hospitals.

In its statement on Tuesday, the hospital explained that documenting patient care became challenging during the computer system outage.

The duration of the issue remains uncertain, and doctors are reaching out to patients with scheduled appointments to explore alternative arrangements. Some patients expressed frustration to local news outlets, stating that they had to reschedule important appointments and were only informed after arriving at the hospital.

Liberty Hospital Cyber Attack Reportedly a Ransomware Attack

Liberty Hospital Cyber Attack Reportedly a Ransomware Attack

Liberty Hospital, situated in a suburb around 20 minutes from Kansas City, is a public hospital employing over 1,900 individuals.

While the hospital has not responded to requests for comment regarding whether the incident involved ransomware, it was reported by KMBC that the hospital officials received a ransom note.

The message reportedly stated, “We have hacked you and downloaded all confidential data of your company. And it can be spread out to people and media. Your reputation will be ruined. Do not hesitate and save your business. We’re the ones who can quickly recover your systems. Starting from now, you have 72 hours to contact us.”

Cyber Attack on Hospitals – A Growing Menace in the Healthcare Industry

This cyber attack on hospitals during the holiday season adds to the devastating trend of ransomware gangs specifically targeting healthcare facilities throughout the year. In 2023 alone, numerous hospitals have been forced to redirect ambulances and shut down departments due to ransomware attacks, endangering the lives of thousands.

The potential vulnerabilities of our healthcare systems to cyber attacks on hospitals have become a pressing concern.

Safeguarding patient data and ensuring uninterrupted healthcare services are paramount. Hospitals must proactively invest in robust cybersecurity measures to thwart cyber threats.

Regular training for staff, implementing advanced encryption protocols, and conducting thorough vulnerability assessments are crucial steps in fortifying the defenses against potential hospital cyber attacks.

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