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  • Writer's pictureAnup Ghosh

Healthcare System Hack Impacts Patient Care

The Download

Like a plot line out of a hospital TV show, the recent hack of Ascension healthcare system brought down its medical records, and forced some of its hospitals to divert ambulances to other area hospitals. Ascension operates 140 hospitals in over 19 states and many reported challenges in delivering healthcare to their patients with the computer systems down, forcing nurses to jot on paper. MyChart, the electronic medical health record systems patients used to access their medical records and communicate with their providers was also unavailable in Ascension hospitals. Some Ascension hospitals diverted ambulances to other hospitals for emergency response.

What You Can Do

As a patient, you really can't do much other than hope your local hospital has put in place good cybersecurity practices. Healthcare systems have to prepare for cyberattacks as they are targeted by ransomware groups. While Ascension did not confirm it was a ransomware attack, it is widely believed to be a ransomware attack from Black Basta. Change Healthcare acknowledged that it had been compromised by ransomware earlier this year when its systems went down.

CISA recommends healthcare providers keep their operating systems up to date, enable multi-factor authentication, and provide cybersecurity awareness training for all employees.

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