Ransomware, Incident Response, Privacy

Ascension ransomware attack posing patient safety risks

Emergency Room Sign

CNN reports that operations at major U.S. nonprofit hospital network Ascension continue to be hobbled by a ransomware attack earlier this month, which nurses at its hospitals noted have begun to endanger patient safety amid the lack of "safety guardrails" as manual prescription information inputs and the lack of electronic health records persist in the aftermath of the incident.

Various issues, such as Ascension's inadequate preparation for the use of paper records and the risk of errors in inputting patient vital medical information, have prompted the Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital nurses' union OPEIU Local 40 to call on the hospital to work on reducing the nurse-to-patient ratio and implement other measures to maintain patient safety.

No statement has been provided by Ascension regarding the union's petition but the network's Director of Media Relations Mac Walker assured focus on recovering EHR access.

"Due to the hard work of our teams over the past several days, we have successfully restored EHR access in our first market and are actively progressing against a plan to restore access across our network on a rolling basis," said Walker.

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