Summary: Ascension is managing a ransomware attack with cybersecurity experts and law enforcement, sharing threat intelligence, and working to restore disrupted systems affecting patient care. Hospitals remain open but are using downtime procedures.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ascension is collaborating with cybersecurity experts and law enforcement to address the ransomware attack and protect against similar incidents.
  • The attack has disrupted electronic health records and other systems, but Ascension’s hospitals remain operational with some emergency services on diversion.

The non-profit, Catholic health system Ascension reported that it experienced a ransomware attack on May 8 that has caused disruptions to patient care in its network.

Incident Response and Collaboration

Ascension is working with the support of cybersecurity experts to respond to the ransomware incident affecting its systems. The company notified law enforcement, including the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

It remains in close contact with the FBI and CISA, and is sharing relevant threat intelligence with the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC) so that industry partners and peers can take steps to protect themselves from similar incidents.

Current Operational Impact

The company stated that it is focused on restoring systems safely and is making progress but it will take time to return to normal operations. Systems that are currently unavailable include the company’s electronic health records systems and various systems utilized to order certain tests, procedures, and medications.

Ascension’s hospitals and facilities remain open and are providing care. However, due to downtime procedures, several hospitals are currently on diversion for emergency medical services in order to ensure emergency cases are triaged immediately.

Communication and Updates

As systems and services come back online, Ascension will share progress through updates so that its patients and communities can plan accordingly. Ascension established a dedicated website to share any updates it has across its system and will be expanding the site to provide updates related to healthcare services as they relate to specific regions.