IDAHO FALLS — After two weeks, Mountain View Hospital is still working to resolve the cyberattack they came under on May 29.
While it’s been a long couple of weeks for staff trying to resolve the incident and patients trying to schedule appointments, there’s some relief in sight.
Idaho Falls Community Hospital is no longer diverting all ambulances from the emergency room. Now they are, “working directly with EMS on a case-by-case basis to determine which patients are appropriate to bring to the hospital,” hospital spokesman Brian Ziel said.
“Our emergency room remains open and our team is ready to treat community members who come to us directly for care,” Ziel said. He also said they are accepting patient transfers from neighboring hospitals to the ICU, pediatric and intermediate care floors.
While the Mountain View Redicare clinic is still closed, it’s scheduled to reopen, “in the coming days,” Ziel said.
Ziel said that Teton Cancer Institute has, “restored certain key operations,” but didn’t clarify what those were.
“We are pleased to share that, due to the hard work of our team, Teton Cancer Institute was able to restore certain operations to continue caring for more of their patients each day,” Ziel said. “We continue providing care, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments, to patients.”
But there’s still no definitive timeline on when operations at Mountain View Hospital and all its partners will be back to normal.
Monica Layton and her husband are two people who have struggled since the cyberattack upended normal operations. Layton’s husband sees a pain specialist at Mountain View’s Pain & Spine Specialists.
As the cyberattack made text reminders impossible, Layton didn’t receive a reminder about his appointment and missed it. Once they realized what happened, they called immediately to try to get it rescheduled, but couldn’t.
Layton said her husband, a veteran, has been fighting cancer for three years, and in that time he’s had to go through 32 surgeries. Because of this, he has to see a pain specialist to get his narcotic medication re-prescribed every month.
Layton said that she, “was panicking because I knew that those were coming up and they’re telling me it’ll be like a week, maybe two weeks. And I knew that those would be coming due here soon.”
Layton continued to check with the doctors throughout the week to see if anything changed and they could get the appointment rescheduled. Once it got into the second week, she became even more worried.
Layton called and said, “my husband’s prescriptions are gonna be coming due and I’ve got to get this appointment. What can we do at that time?”
The clinic waived the appointment and called in the prescription for Layton’s husband on June 7.
Layton said that she doesn’t blame Mountain View for the current situation.
“I know that this is something that was totally out of their hands,” Layton said. “I’m not angry at them. I just was really scared there, along with my husband, not knowing what we were going to do.”
Although Mountain View can’t provide a definitive timeline on when the cyberattack will be resolved, Ziel said, “we are committed to keeping our community updated. We are working as quickly and safely as possible to bring all our departments across our facilities to full operational capacity.”
Mountain View confirmed that the lead agency investigating this cyberattack is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While the FBI acknowledged the incident, they are declining further comment.
Some employees at Mountain View hospital have told EastIdahoNews.com that the cyberattack was a ransomware attack. A ransomware attack is when cybercriminals hold access to a system hostage, and then demand a ransom to regain access to the system.
When asked if this is a ransomware attack, Ziel said, “the investigation is ongoing and in its early stages. To ensure the integrity of the investigation, we are not able to provide additional details at this time.”
Mountain View Hospital is providing updates when available on their website. Those who have questions are encouraged to call (208) 541-0043 to reach Mountain View Hospital or (208) 541-4174 to contact Idaho Falls Community Hospital.