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Nuance Update: Majority of Transcription Service Customers Back Online

July 28, 2017
by Heather Landi
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A month after the global NotPetya malware incident that affected multinational companies in least 65 countries, Nuance Communications, a Burlington, Mass.-based technology company, said today that it has restored service to the majority of its clients on its flagship transcription platform.

“As of today, Nuance Healthcare has brought back on-line the majority of its client base for its flagship eScription LH platform, restoring 75 percent of clients, which account for approximately 90 percent of the total annualized volume of lines that are transcribed on that platform. The transcription platform is used by medical professionals for clinical documentation,” the company stated.

Nuance providers cloud-based dictation and transcription service to hospitals and health systems, and portions of Nuance’s network was impacted by the malware incident, which includes a significant part of its services to healthcare organizations.

According to a Nuance company fact sheet, the company’s healthcare solutions are deployed in 86 percent of all U.S. hospitals. More than 500,000 clinicians and 10,000 healthcare facilities worldwide use the company’s clinical documentation solutions.

“We are nearing completion of our restoration efforts in response to the incident, and I am deeply grateful to our clients for their loyalty and partnership during this time,” Satish Maripuri, executive vice president and general manager, Nuance Healthcare Division, said in a prepared statement. “Since the incident occurred, our top priority has been to bring our clients back on-line and support them in their mission of providing quality services to their patients.”

In a blog post, Nuance chief security officer Doug Graham wrote that the company’s initial response to the malware incident was to rapid initiate an emergency shut down of its global network and suspend of all data backups to limit the spread of the malware within its systems.

“Importantly, as we have previously said, we have no indication that customer data has been lost or removed from our network. We have made rapid progress in restoring our systems safely with enhanced security. As computers and systems are brought back online, we are adding further security controls as we work to restore full functionality for our customers,” Graham wrote.

In the blog post, Graham also addresses common questions about the incident and the actions Nuance has taken to recover its systems and enhance its security.

The company’s statement also included comments from customers. “This was a challenging situation, but Nuance has been a great partner throughout,” Tim Thompson, CIO and senior vice president of BayCare Health System, said in a statement. “We appreciated their efforts to keep us informed about their progress and they worked with us to give us the confidence we needed in their security infrastructure. We are now fully functional and all of our doctors are back to dictating.”

“Nuance has been working 24/7 to restore, communicate and enhance their security infrastructure to return us to full functionality so that we can continue to serve our patients. They have made themselves available to talk with customers day and night. That’s exemplary of why we have been such a loyal Nuance customer for 15 years,” Debra Harris, director of health information management and clinical documentation improvement at Salem Health, said.

Nuance also stated that in addition to the progress made in restoring service on the eScription LH platform, the entire client base of the eScription RH and Clinic 360 solutions that reside on the cloud-based Emdat platform have had service fully restored since July 3. All clients of Nuance’s Critical Test Results Management application, which is part of the radiology workflow, were reactivated on July 16. Nuance is providing cloud-based options for a sub-set of the client base that were on older iChart and BeyondText transcription platforms. No Nuance customer data has been altered, lost or removed by the malware, the company said.

Use of Nuance’s Dragon Medical One product has increased among clients seeking an alternative for physicians to capture patient documentation. The PowerScribe and Dragon Medical One solutions were not impacted by the June 27 incident and have remained available to customers, the company said.



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