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Ascension St. John ER off divert: Ransomware attack update | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Ascension St. John Medical Center’s emergency room in midtown Tulsa is no longer on divert status, a little over a week after the health care system was hit with a ransomware attack.

The cybersecurity incident was first discovered May 8, according to an Ascension statement. Some patients were contacted about the need for procedures to be rescheduled, but hospitals, doctor’s offices and care sites have remained operational. 

Ambulances were instructed for about a week to divert patients to other emergency rooms, according to an EMSA spokesman. On Friday, Ascension confirmed the midtown Tulsa hospital’s ER was no longer on divert status.

“Despite the challenges posed by the recent ransomware incident, patient safety continues to be our utmost priority,” the  updated Ascension statement reads. “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.

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“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.”

Because of the inaccessibility of digital health records, patients have been told to expect “longer than usual wait times and some delays.”

Regarding data restoration and recovery, as well as understanding how the ransomware attack happened, Ascension said the company has brought in multiple forensic and cybersecurity experts.

“We are focused on getting systems back up and running as safely and as quickly as possible. … Please be aware that it may still take some time to return to normal operations,” the statement reads. 

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