Ascension Health patient feels impacts of widespread ransomware attack | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Ascension Health is dealing with a widespread ransomware attack that has caused interruptions for nearly a week.

An Ascension patient tells TMJ4’s Megan Lee it’s the perfect storm.

“And I’m afraid if something gets worse, where am I going to go,” Annette Strini said.

Strini’s doctor is on vacation at the same time there is a ransomware attack affecting the hospital. She is also facing a health scare.

“I’m getting mixed signals,” she said.

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Annette Strini said the Ascension ransomware attack is causing her to worry as she faces a major infection. She said her doctor’s office can’t access her files making it difficult to figure out what’s next for her treatment.

She has many questions about what the next steps are for treating her major colon infection.

“I’m frightened. With the Diverticulitis it’s not healing like it should. I was on a lot of strong antibiotics. I got off them maybe over a week ago and it doesn’t feel like it’s going away and I’m scared,” Strini explained.

She said her doctor’s office can’t access her records. Ascension Health said in a statement, “Systems that are currently unavailable include our electronic health records systems and various systems utilized to order certain tests, procedures, and medications.”

The cybersecurity issue is creating confusion for Strini.

“This person says this, the other person says this. I’m confused. I’m afraid to eat,” Strini said.

Strini said it’s not as simple as going to a different doctor’s office or another emergency room. She doesn’t have a car and she has a certain type of health insurance that isn’t accepted everywhere.

“I was told to go to Aurora or Froedtert. But my insurance doesn’t cover that, how would I pay the bills,” Strini said.

With nowhere to turn, Strini said all she can do is remain hopeful her situation doesn’t take a turn for the worse. “I’m hoping that this flare-up, that’s not even cured yet will get better.”

In a statement Monday, Ascension confirmed it’s dealing with a ransomware attack. A spokesperson said they are making progress; however, it will take time to return to normal operations.

Click here for the latest on the outage.

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