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KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania — A computer outage at a major hospital chain thrust healthcare facilities across the U.S. into chaos Monday, with treatment impeded as doctors and nurses already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic were forced to rely on paper backup systems.

Universal Health Services Inc., which operates more than 250 hospitals and other clinical facilities in the U.S., blamed the outage on an unspecified IT “security issue” in a statement posted to its website Monday but provided no details about the incident, such as how many facilities were affected and whether patients had to be diverted to other hospitals.

UHS workers reached by The Associated Press at company facilities in Texas and Washington, D.C. described mad scrambles after the outage began overnight Sunday to render care, including longer emergency room waits and anxiety over determining which patients might be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Fortune

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Several Microsoft Office products and programs, including email client Outlook, were knocked offline for several hours Monday.



graphical user interface: FILE - A man wearing a mask looks at this phone outside the Microsoft office in Beijing, China in a Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 file photo. Microsoft is buying the company behind popular video games The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout. The software giant said Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 that it is paying $7.5 billion for ZeniMax Media, the parent company of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)


© Ng Han Guan
FILE – A man wearing a mask looks at this phone outside the Microsoft office in Beijing, China in a Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 file photo. Microsoft is buying the company behind popular video games The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout. The software giant said Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 that it is paying $7.5 billion for ZeniMax Media, the parent company of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

The outage was first reported by Twitter users, most of whom complained that Outlook was not working. Data from downdetector.com indicated that Outlook and Microsoft’s wider range of Office products were affected.

Microsoft said Monday evening that it had identified the issue (an authentication error) and was attempting to rollback recent changes, but that the outage

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KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — Universal Health Services, a major hospital chain operating in the U.S. and Britain, says its computer networks have been knocked offline by an unspecified “security issue.”

The Fortune 500 company, which has 400 hospitals and clinics and 90,000 employees, said in a short statement posted to its website Monday that it is working “diligently with our IT security partners to restore IT operations as quickly as possible.”

UHS said its “patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively” and no patient or employee data appears to have been accessed, copied or otherwise compromised. The company’s website says UHS treats 3.5 million patients annually.

The company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, did not immediately respond to emails seeking more information.

The cybersecurity news site BleepingComputer said computer and phone systems were knocked offline at UHS facilities starting early Sunday. It quoted reports on Reddit

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