Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford and Other Locations Face Cybersecurity Crisis, Disrupting Some Patient Care | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN – A significant cybersecurity breach has impacted Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford and several other locations, affecting doctors’ abilities to respond to emergencies and resulting in the rescheduling of appointments for some patients, the medical group revealed. The breach, detected on May 8, prompted Ascension to classify it as a cybersecurity incident, initiating intensive efforts to investigate, contain, and restore their systems. However, the medical group acknowledges that the process of investigation and restoration will require time, with no definitive timeline for completion available.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of patients remains the top priority for Ascension amid this cybersecurity incident, according to officials. Efforts are underway to support ministries in providing safe patient care through established downtime protocols and procedures. An Ascension spokesperson stated, “Patients should bring to their appointment notes on their symptoms and a list of current medications and prescription numbers or the prescription bottles so their care team can call in medication needs to pharmacies.”

As a result of the breach, crucial systems including electronic health records, MyChart, phone systems, and various ordering systems for tests and medications are currently unavailable. While protocols are in place to address these disruptions and maintain patient safety, non-emergent elective procedures, tests, and appointments have been temporarily paused as a precaution. Ascension’s teams are actively working with affected patients to reschedule appointments and procedures, acknowledging the inconvenience caused and expressing regret for any disruption to patient care.

In response to downtime procedures, several hospitals are on diversion for emergency medical services, ensuring immediate triage for emergency cases. Patients experiencing medical emergencies are urged to contact 911 for prompt assistance. Ascension extends gratitude to its dedicated care teams and the community for their support and patience during this challenging time, emphasizing ongoing efforts to restore systems swiftly and safely. Regular updates will be provided on the Ascension website to keep patients, staff, and stakeholders informed throughout the incident.

Officials said, “The investigation into the scope of the incident is ongoing, and we continue to work with internal and external experts as well as law enforcement. We will provide consistent updates as the situation evolves. Should we determine that any sensitive information was affected, we will notify and support those individuals in accordance with all relevant regulatory and legal guidelines.”

  • If you have questions about the incident, you can learn more HERE. 



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