Cyberattacks on health care delivery organizations are increasing in frequency and sophistication. Ransomware infections have been associated with significant operational disruption, but data describing regional associations of these cyberattacks with neighboring hospitals have not been previously reported, to our knowledge. This study found that hospitals adjacent to health care delivery organizations affected by ransomware attacks may see increases in patient census and may experience resource constraints affecting time-sensitive care for conditions such as acute stroke. These findings suggest that targeted hospital cyberattacks may be associated with disruptions of health care delivery at nontargeted hospitals within a community and should be considered a regional disaster.
Read the full study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).