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Ind. healthcare network continues to recover from ransomware attack

In some areas, Ascension St. Vincent is diverting ambulances for specific cases

Hospital System-Cyberattack

A cyberattack on the Ascension health system across the U.S. diverted ambulances, caused patients to miss medical visits and blocked online their online access to their records. An Ascension spokesperson said it detected “unusual activity” Wednesday, May 8, 2024 on its computer network systems and that both its electronic records system and the MyChart system that gives patients access to their records and allows them to communicate with their doctors were offlline.

AP Photo/Morry Gash, File

By Andy Knight
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Ascension St. Vincent healthcare network is continuing to recover from a ransomware attack last week that affected network systems tracking test results, procedures and medications.

The attack happened Wednesday when suspicious activity was detected on several network systems.

An Ascension spokesperson provided the following statement as an update on the progress the organization has made in recovering from the attack.

“Ascension, with the support of leading cybersecurity experts, worked around the clock over the weekend to respond to the ransomware incident affecting our systems. We are focused on restoring systems safely. We are making progress; however, it will take time to return to normal operations.”

The network owns and operates more than 350 hospitals and urgent care centers in Indiana. Staff members at many of those locations have turned to manual and paper-based systems of record keeping while fixes are developed to restore online systems.

“As systems and services come back online, we will share those updates so that our patients and communities can plan accordingly,” an Ascension spokesperson said.

A fact sheet provided by Ascension St. Vincent noted that all of the network’s medical group doctor’s offices and care sites are operating with normal business hours, and all appointments are proceeding as planned.

In some areas, certain hospitals are employing ambulance diversion plans for specific cases. Also, most non-elective surgical procedures are happening as planned, but hospital officials caution that due to the transition to manual systems for documentation, patients may encounter longer-than-usual wait times.

Patients are also being asked to bring their prescription lists and prescription bottles to their appointments, where doctors will work to find alternative ways of filling them until Ascension Rx pharmacies come back online.

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