Ascension restores Electronic Health Record Access after cyberattack (2024)

UPDATE (06/07/24):

Ascension said the company has successfully restoredElectronic Health Record (EHR) access ahead of June 14.

A statement from anAscension St. John Spokesperson confirmed the news:

"Ascension St. John has successfully restored Electronic Health Record (EHR) access, significantly improving electronic patient documentation in care settings. This will allow most hospital departments, physician offices and clinics to use electronic documentation, charting, and ordering systems. Patients should see improved efficiencies and wait times. Our team continues to work tirelessly to restore other ancillary technology systems."

FOX23 will follow this for updates.

UPDATE (06/04/24):Ascension said the company's Electronic Health Record access will be restored by the end of next week in an update statement.

Ascension said although the investigation is ongoing, clinicians will be able to access patient records and specialty pharmacy sites are now open.

The entire statement says:

"Ascension continues to work expeditiously alongside industry-leading cybersecurity experts in our efforts to safely restore systems across our network. Please know our hospitals and facilities remain open and are providing patient care. Patients should continue to visit the regional updates portion of this webpage for the latest information on a state-by-state basis.

As we have previously communicated, restoring Electronic Health Record (EHR) access has been among the top priorities of our recovery process. We are encouraged to report positive developments in these efforts and can announce that we have successfully restored EHR access in our Florida, Alabama and Austin markets.

Based on what we have learned about this process to date, we are working toward completing EHR restoration across our entire ministry by the end of the week ending June 14.

As EHR is restored across the entirety of our networks, clinicians will be able to access patient records as they did prior to this incident. While these are promising developments in our recovery efforts, our investigation into this incident remains ongoing, along with the remediation of additional systems. This is a complex process, and it will still take time to complete.

Additionally, Ascension Rx retail, home delivery and specialty pharmacy sites are now open and able to meet your prescription needs. This means that healthcare providers are able to transmit prescriptions electronically and can send prescriptions to Ascension Rx pharmacies for their patients.

Finally, we again want to thank our patients and community for your support through this time and to our dedicated clinicians who continue to provide quality care."

You can read Ascension's previous statements by clicking here.

TULSA, Okla. — Ascension is investigating a 'ransomware incident' after the company detected 'unusual activity' on certain network systems.

Ascension said they responded immediately by beginning to investigate and activating their 'remediation efforts'.

The disturbance happened to the parent company of St. John, Ascension, but it has led to technical difficulties at the Tulsa hospital, and all other Ascension locations.

Emergency and in-house patient care is continuing to operate as usual. The difficulties stem from software and looking up information on their systems. So its led to some longer lines in the non-emergency, and also troubles getting in new patient appointments.

For those with upcoming surgeries, Ascension said patients should arrive on their scheduled surgery date as usual unless called and told otherwise.

Other hospitals including St. Francis and Hillcrest have seen a spike in new patients after the issue at Ascension, but said they are not overwhelmed.

Hillcrest released the following statement amid the spike in patients.

"Since last week, our two acute care metro hospitals have seen a slow but steady rise in both ER and transfer center volumes as we work to assist our neighbors. While our inpatient and emergency departments are much busier, our ability to deliver inpatient care has not been impacted. Diversions are not uncommon, and our teams are prepared to care for patients being brought to our facilities."

OSU Medical Center released the following statement in response to the rise in patient numbers.

"OSU Medical Center is prepared daily for an influx of patients. While we have seen an increase, we continue to be able to provide the best care possible."

A third party expert, Mandiant, was called to assist in the investigation and Ascension has notified the authorities including the FBI.

If any sensitive information was compromised, Ascension said they will notify and support those who were affected.

Ascension's business partners are recommended to temporarily suspend their connection the Ascension environment and will inform them when its OK to reconnect.

Below is the most recent statement from Ascension St. John following the ransom ware incident.

"We continue to diligently investigate and address the recent ransomware incident, working closely with industry leading cybersecurity experts to assist in our investigation and restoration and recovery efforts. Additionally, we have notified law enforcement, as well as government partners including the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the American Hospital Association (AHA). We remain in close contact with the FBI and CISA, and we are sharing relevant threat intelligence with the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC) so that our industry partners and peers can take steps to protect themselves from similar incidents.

While our restoration work continues in earnest, our focus is on restoring systems as safely as possible. While we expect this process will take time to complete, we are making progress and systems are being restored in a coordinated manner at each of our care sites. We will continue to share updates on our recovery process."

Ascension also released the following statement on what their current process looks like as they continue treating patients with some more recently frequently asked questions:

All Ascension St. John hospitals, physician offices, and care sites across the state remain open and operational.Despite the challenges posed by the recent ransomware incident, patient safety continues to be our utmost priority. Our dedicated doctors, nurses, and care teams are demonstrating incredible thoughtfulness and resilience as we utilize manual and paper based systems during the ongoing disruption to normal systems.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unexpected situation. Rest assured, our commitment to the health and safety of our community remains our highest priority.

Can I go to my doctor’s appointment?

Ascension St. John Medical Partners doctor’s offices and care sites are operating with normal business hours, and all scheduled appointments are proceeding as planned.

Due to the transition to manual systems for patient documentation, patients may encounter longer than usual wait times and some delays. To help with delays, patients should bring notes on symptoms and a list of current medications, including prescription numbers or bottles. In the event that appointments need to be rescheduled, an Ascension associate will contact patients directly.

Can I get my prescription filled?

Certain Ascension Rx retail pharmacies in Oklahoma are not operational. Patients are being asked to bring their prescription number or prescription bottle. We will work with patients to find an alternative pathway to get a fill at another pharmacy if ours is not an option. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Are Ascension’s urgent care centers open?

At this time, Ascension’s urgent care centers are fully operating. Due to the transition to manual systems for patient documentation and care at certain centers, patients may encounter longer than usual wait times and some delays.

Are Ascension’s emergency rooms open?

All Ascension St. John emergency rooms remain open and accepting walk-in patients.Certain hospitals are currently implementing a diversion process for ambulance services for specific medical cases to ensure they are triaged most effectively. Diversion is the practice of an ambulance potentially bypassing an Ascension location to another facility. It is a normal course of operation, a fluid practice, and is dependent on a number of factors, including case severity, service lines, and availability. We are in constant communication with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers to ensure real-time updates on facility availability.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 911, and local emergency services will transport you to the most appropriate hospital emergency room.

Can I still have my surgery?

Patients with upcoming scheduled elective surgeries should plan to arrive as planned unless otherwise notified. Should any rescheduling be necessary, a member of our care team will contact you directly.

Due to the transition to manual systems for patient documentation, patients may encounter longer than usual wait times and some delays. To help with delays, patients should bring notes on symptoms and a list of current medications, including prescription numbers or bottles.

Will I be able to get my diagnostic imaging, other tests, and treatments?

Imaging, testing, and treatment are being offered at this time. However, patients may experience delays and some procedures may need to be rescheduled. Should any rescheduling be necessary, a member of our care team will contact you directly. We thank you for your patience.

Commitment to Quality Care:

Our care teams are well versed on dynamic situations and are appropriately trained to maintain high quality care during downtime. Our leadership, physicians, care teams, and associates are working to ensure patient care continues with minimal to no interruption. We appreciate our community's patience and understanding.

Ascension said if you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 and emergency services will bring you to the nearest emergency room available.

For the latest update on the hospital's recovery following the ransomware incident, click here.

Ascension restores Electronic Health Record Access after cyberattack (2024)


Ascension restores Electronic Health Record Access after cyberattack? ›

St. Louis-based Ascension has restored EHR access in 11 states in the wake of a recent cyberattack. The health system, which was hit by ransomware May 8, has restored EHR access in the following states: Florida.

Who owns Ascension Health? ›

What happened at Change Healthcare? ›

The cyberattack that occurred in February knocked Change Healthcare—a subsidiary of the behemoth global health company UnitedHealth—offline, which created a backlog of unpaid claims. This has left doctors' offices and hospitals with serious cashflow problems—threatening patients' access to care.

What is the controversy with Ascension Health? ›

In complaints filed in the District Courts of Illinois and Texas plaintiffs allege Ascension acted negligently by failing to encrypt patient data and said the attack leaves them “at a heightened risk of identity theft for years to come.”

Is Ascension Health in financial trouble? ›

Ascension wraps the year with $2.7B loss thanks to higher expenses, one-time impairment loss. Ascension closed out its 2023 fiscal year with a $2.66 billion net loss, according to financial disclosures for the period ended June 30.

Who is Ascension merging with? ›

The no-cash deal will combine Detroit-based Henry Ford Health with Ascension's southeast Michigan and Genesys healthcare facilities and create an organization spanning more than 550 sites.

Is Ascension selling off hospitals? ›

The system has offloaded several key assets and hospitals in the last three years, with more deals in the pipeline.

Did Ascension buy Amita Health? ›

History. In February 2015, AMITA Health was created as a joint venture between Alex Brothers Health System (part of Ascension) and Adventist Midwest Health (part of AdventHealth). In 2018, Ascension acquired Presence Health and merged it into AMITA Health.

Why is Ascension leaving Michigan? ›

The asset ditching is in response to massive financial bloodletting. Ascension reported a $3 billion loss in its fiscal 2023. Experts believe the large-scale investments by its secular competitors is driving down margins and forcing a competitive consolidation market.

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