NewsNorthern Light Health System Shuts Down Patient Records System

Northern Light Health System Shuts Down Patient Records System


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Bangor, Maine — On Saturday, Northern Light Health, a prominent healthcare system, opted to temporarily suspend its patient records system after discovering a compromise in several computer servers supporting its network of hospitals. Patricia Patterson King, a spokesperson for Northern Light Health, confirmed the breach in an email to NEWS CENTER Maine, assuring that while some servers were compromised, they did not contain patient information. Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, the healthcare system decided to take servers with patient data offline to safeguard privacy.

King addressed the misinformation circulating online, emphasizing that, as of now, there is no indication that any patient information has been compromised. She clarified Northern Light Health’s control over HVAC and security systems, asserting that there was no contact from a third party, and no evidence of data being held for ransom.

The healthcare system promptly reported the incident to “appropriate authorities,” although specific details were not disclosed in the email. King assured that additional information would be shared with patients, staff, and communities as it becomes available.

Suzanne Spruce, Senior VP of Northern Light Health and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, provided further clarification during an interview with NEWS CENTER Maine on Saturday evening. Spruce reiterated that compromised servers did not house patient information, and patient care remained unaffected. She highlighted the continuous training of Northern Light Health staff in downtime procedures, ensuring a seamless transition from digital to print records.

Spruce revealed that Northern Light Health detected an abnormality in their systems, prompting a swift decision to take servers offline as a precautionary measure. The downtime mode was activated within a matter of hours to minimize potential risks.

Northern Light Health, comprising 10 member hospitals and employing over 10,000 people across Maine, positions itself as the state’s sole integrated healthcare system, extending from “Portland to Presque Isle and from Blue Hill to Greenville,” according to its website. The organization remains committed to delivering quality care despite the cybersecurity incident.

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