Ascension has 'no timeline' for restoration of systems following cyber attack

We hear patient horror stories of long wait times, rescheduling and delays
Posted at 6:40 AM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 15:20:59-04

Ascension Hospital is still dealing with the aftermath of a massive nationwide "cybersecurity incident" and posted an update on Thursday evening.

Hear from a patient describe what it was like at the hospital when the attack happened

Ascension patient describes experience as health system had massive cyber attack

According to Ascension, they are still investigating and restoring their systems, and it will "take time to complete, and we do not have a timeline for completion."

Watch our story from Thursday below with a cyber security expert and other patients

Ascension Hospital is still in the throes of a massive nationwide cyber-attack

The health system said there are many systems which are unavailable. They include:

  • Electronic health records system
  • MyChart (which enables patients to view their medical records and communicate with their providers),
  • some phone systems
  • Various systems utilized to order certain tests, procedures and medications

According to Ascension, they are in downtime protocols, and several hospitals are currently on diversion for emergency medical services.
Those patients who have appointments should bring their appointment notes on their symptoms, a current list of medications and prescription numbers or the prescription bottles.

The health system is also pausing some non-emergent elective procedures, tests and appointments.

An ER doctor in the southeast Michigan system told us today they’ve been told to expect systems to be down for the next two weeks, They’ve had to override medication dispensing machines for patients.

'Migraine': How Ascension health cyberattack caused headache for doctors

'Migraine': How Ascension health cyberattack caused headache for doctors

Some patients told us on Facebook that Ascension’s staff is minimizing the impact. One tells us they’ve been to the ER twice in the last 12 hours and despite the computer issues, everyone is very helpful and caring.

“You can pretty much assume that Ascension is in scramble mode,” said Scott Bailey.

Scott Bailey with N1 Discovery is a Metro Detroit-based data security expert with extensive experience.

“We've done one of the largest healthcare data breaches in Michigan. We did one of the largest breaches of a public utility here in Michigan. So those were all also very significant on the forensic side. I was brought in on the Oklahoma City bombing. I did work on the Kwame Kilpatrick case. I’m a digital E-discovery digital consultant to the Attorney General’s office for the Flint Water Crisis,” explained Bailey.

“Is it possible that the breach is active right now still?” our Brian Abel asked.

“It certainly could be. When you think about Ascension, it is a massive organization in multiple states. Some threat actors, when they actually get into a system, they will be putting or trying to put backdoors into that system,” said Bailey.