Palomar Health

After a month without answers, Palomar Health Medical Group says systems could be restored next week

When the medical group was hit with a cybersecurity incident, many patients had trouble making appointments and accessing their own records

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Palomar Health Medical Group is preparing to bring its systems back online after detecting "suspicious activity" in its network more than a month ago, the medical group announced on Wednesday.

In a letter sent to patients around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, PHMG confirmed that its internet is still down but said it expects to regain access in the next week. After that, the medical group said it should be able to get electronic medical records back up and running.

"This will improve the ability to contact your provider's office, schedule appointments, get prescription refills electronically managed, and allow providers to have full electronic access to lab and radiology reports right in the electronic system again," PHMG said in the letter.

PHMG identified the cybersecurity incident on May 5, according to a letter sent to its patients one day later. The medical group said it then quickly took the impacted systems offline, which meant phones, faxes and the patient portal stopped working.

For weeks, patients were unsure if any of their personal data was compromised. NBC 7 spoke with numerous patients who have had trouble making appointments and accessing their own records while PHMG's systems have been down.

PHMG has not described what happened as a data breach or ransomware attack.

In statements to NBC 7 Responds more than a month ago, the medical group said third-party specialists were helping to investigate the incident and to restore its systems.

"We are also investigating what impact, if any, this incident had on the security of data within our environment," PHMG said in its statement, in part.

A patient sent NBC 7 Responds a letter he received from Palomar Medical Health Group on May 21, 2024, saying it continues providing lab results, radiology reports, referrals to specialists and patient messages via secure inbound fax. It also says that doctors do have limited access to medical records by using temporary programs. 

Palomar Health Healthcare District, which includes Palomar Medical Center Poway and Palomar Medical Center Escondido, have not been impacted, PHMG said.

Palomar Health Medical Group was hit with cybersecurity issues last month that forced it to take its systems offline. Sergio Flores from NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 Responds has been in touch with patients who say they don’t think they’re getting the adequate healthcare they need.
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