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Some Ascension systems to be restored soon following cyber attack: What to know | #ransomware | #cybercrime

DETROIT – Ascension health facilities across the US are expected to return to their online systems soon following a ransomware attack in May.

Hospitals and health care facilities affected by the cyber attack on Ascension last month should be able to utilize their digital systems by the end of next week. The restoration of Ascension’s Electronic Health Record system should be implemented nationwide by June 14, officials said Tuesday.

The EHR system at Ascension facilities in Florida, Alabama, and Austin was “successfully restored” recently. Systems other than the EHR still appeared to be offline across the health care system.

The health care system reported in early May that it was dealing with a cyber attack, affecting “clinical operations” at its 140 hospitals and dozens of senior living facilities in 19 states. Officials later said that the security issue was actually a ransomware attack — meaning someone (or someones) broke into Ascension’s computer system, took hold, and were demanding ransom for its return.

Ascension hospitals and facilities stayed open after the attack, but longer wait times were said to be possible since the digital systems were offline. Operating times were still the same, and prescription services were still available, but some changes were implemented — though officials said Ascension Rx services were operational again.

The health care system was still investigating the cyber attack, an Ascension spokesperson said on Tuesday, June 4.

“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,” the statement read Tuesday. “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.”

Click here to see how the cyber attack was affecting patient care, as of May.

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