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How the Ascension Cyberattack is Disrupting Care at Hospitals

The recent ransomware attack on Ascension, a major U.S. healthcare system, has caused significant disruptions in hospital operations. Staff are now relying on handwritten notes and in-person delivery of test orders and prescriptions, leading to delays and increased risks of errors.

Ascension, operating around 140 hospitals across 19 states and D.C., detected the attack on May 8. The breach affected electronic health records and systems used for ordering tests and medications, as well as phone systems and patient portals. Click here for article.

  • Manual Processes: Hospital staff have reverted to paper-based methods, leading to delays and potential errors in patient care. Medication and lab result processing is taking significantly longer​ (KWBU)​​ (WMUK)​.

  • Patient Diversions: Emergency patients are being redirected to other hospitals, and non-emergent procedures are postponed due to the operational disruptions​ (OncLive)​​ (HIPAA Journal)​.

  • Ongoing Investigation: Ascension is collaborating with cybersecurity experts, the FBI, and CISA to investigate and mitigate the attack. No timeline for system restoration has been provided​ (HIPAA Journal)​​ (OncLive)​.

  • Industry Impact: The attack on Ascension highlights the increasing frequency and severity of cyberattacks on healthcare systems, underscoring the need for improved cybersecurity measures across the industry​ (OncLive)​.

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