Ascension resumes elective procedures after cyber attack

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Ascension says it has made some progress as it deals with a cyber security incident involving the hospital system.

On Thursday, it paused some non-emergent elective surgeries, tests, and appointments.

On Friday, an Ascension spokesperson said elective procedures and surgeries have been able to resume.

The hospital has also restored access to some of its primary systems. The spokesperson said he would not say which systems have been restored. Some of the systems that have been down include MyChart, an electronic health records system, some phone systems, and systems used to order some tests and medications.

In its Thursday update, Ascension asked patients with appointments to bring notes on their symptoms and a list of current medications and prescription numbers or prescription bottles with them. This will allow staff to call in medication needs to pharmacies.

Wesley gives ER guidance in wake of Ascension cyber issue

In addition, several of Ascension’s hospitals are on diversion for emergency medical services. First responders are directing patients to other hospitals in the area. Ascension did not specify which hospitals are currently on diversion.

Sedgwick County dispatch confirmed Wednesday that patients were being diverted to hospitals other than Ascension. As of Thursday afternoon, they confirmed they ended the diversion for trauma, stroke, burns and STEMI.

“We are working around the clock with internal and external advisors to investigate, contain, and restore our systems following a thorough validation and screening process,” read the statement from Ascension.

There is no timeline for the completion of the investigation and restoration work being done, according to representatives with Ascension.

Ascension cyberattack affecting staff

Elaine Stephen, the founder and coordinator for Wichita Hearts for Healers, an organization vocalizing support for healthcare workers, says workers have been under a lot of strain since well before the pandemic, and situations like this only slow things down.

Union nurses have told KSN that they’re using paper charts to track care and submit some requests. Stephen says it makes processes take longer and is asking the public to be patient.

“We don’t know what extra work they’re having to do, so as a community, we can each help by being a little bit more patient, by extending grace and acknowledging that we don’t know what we don’t know about what those health care workers are dealing with,” said Stephen.

She hopes more appreciation from the community will help with the morale of these workers.

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