CHI Health has caught a virus, but it’s not the kind the health system is used to battling.

Dr. Cliff Robertson, CHI Health’s chief executive, said that this week, a device brought in by a third-party vendor introduced a virus, also known as malware, into the health system’s network.

The virus affected some hospitals and clinics within the health care system Tuesday and Wednesday, he said. But he stressed that it did not result in an external breach or hack of patient information or disrupt patient care.

“We believe we now have fully contained it,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

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The virus did not affect medical devices, he said. Instead, it affected browsers used to connect with the health system’s network internally. That required the health system to shut down some devices used to access medical records — specifically, portable ones — until teams can check them and make sure that they’re not infected.

But other access points to those records were still available. In affected hospitals and clinics, staff followed downtime procedures, like the ones they would use in a power outage. In some cases, that has meant recording information on paper to upload later. In others, staff have used desktop devices.

“It’s still seamless to the patients,” Robertson said.

Meanwhile, a team is working to test and fire up the devices that were shut down, Robertson said. That process may take a couple of more days. The primary concern is to make sure that the malware has been eradicated and that the devices are sterilized before they’re reconnected.

Julie Anderson is a medical reporter for The World-Herald. She covers health care and health care trends and developments, including hospitals, research and treatments. Follow her on Twitter @JulieAnderson41. Phone: 402-444-1066.

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