Failure in Staff Reporting Following Cyberattack on Ascension Hospitals


Impact of Ransomware Attack on Ascension Hospitals and Staff Concerns

Ascension Hospitals Cyberattack Places Strain on Staff

A ransomware attack in May against Ascension, one of America’s largest hospital chains, has caused widespread disruption and strain on staff at over 140 hospitals across 10 states. Doctors, nurses, and clinicians have reported significant outages of key technology systems, leading to medication errors, delays in lab results, and a lack of routine safeguards that have put patient health at risk.

The cyberattack on May 8 locked Ascension out of vital electronic medical records systems, medication ordering platforms, and other essential tools for patient care coordination. While Ascension claims its clinicians are trained for such disruptions, front-line workers feel unprepared for the chaos it has brought.

Nurses like Marvin Ruckle at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph in Wichita, Kansas, have struggled to provide care without access to electronic systems, nearly making critical mistakes in medication dosages. Critical care nurse Lisa Watson also faced a similar situation where she could have administered the wrong drug to a patient due to the lack of electronic scanning.

Doctors and nurses across Ascension have resorted to using paper records, handwritten notes, faxes, and spreadsheets to deliver care, causing confusion and errors. Instances of medication mix-ups and incorrect dosages due to paperwork issues have been reported, raising concerns about patient safety and staff licenses.

Staff members are urging Ascension to implement changes in response to the cyberattack, advocating for contingency plans similar to those used for natural disasters. They are also calling for increased support to handle the additional workload and improve working conditions for all staff members.

As the Biden administration pushes for stronger cybersecurity standards in healthcare, the industry faces uncertainties regarding timelines and requirements for cyberattack preparedness. The incidents at Ascension hospitals highlight the critical need for proactive measures to protect patient data and ensure the well-being of both patients and staff in the face of rising cyber threats.

Related articles

Recent articles