Cybersecurity Incident Forces Missouri Hospital to Divert Patients

Liberty Hospital’s cybersecurity incident was discovered on Dec. 19 and continues to impact staff and potentially patient care.

LIBERTY, Mo. – A cybersecurity incident at Liberty Hospital on December 19 forced the facility to take its computer network offline and resulted in a communications systems outage, reports KSHB. In response, the hospital transported patients who needed more care than its systems could support to other hospitals. Additionally, Liberty Hospital recommended new patients seek emergency care at other healthcare facilities.

On December 22, the hospital could once again receive ambulances and walk-in patients, as well as perform low-risk procedures. However, by December 29, not all of the systems were up and running, and the hospital said it didn’t know how long it would take to fully recover, reports WIBW.

The delay is worrying some staff members, who say it is jeopardizing patient care. An anonymous  Liberty employee told KCTV that the hospital is relying on paper charts and that some records have been lost or there may be multiple versions of a diagnosis.

Patients told KCTV5 that some doctors don’t have access to scans and their medical histories.

In response to the cybersecurity incident, Liberty Hospital added more security protocols and have called in third-party cybersecurity specialists to investigate and hopefully recover the system.

The incident at Liberty Hospital is just the latest data breach impacting healthcare. On Thanksgiving Day, hospitals and health systems in at least seven states experienced network outages due to cybersecurity incidents.

The cost of data breaches in healthcare is staggering… about $10.53 million per incident in 2023.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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