Cyberattack Forces Major US Health Care Network To Divert Ambulances From Hospitals

| Updated on June 25, 2024
Recent cyberattack cripples US healthcare

The healthcare system in the US has recently had a major cyberattack this week that may have diverted many ambulances from several of its hospitals. The cyberattack on Ascension, a St. Louis-based non-profit network that includes 140 hospitals in over 19 states, also disrupted access to many electronic health records.

And that’s not all, some phone systems and even many of the systems used to order tests, procedures, and medications were affected by the attack.

The sprawling healthcare network, which also owns 40 senior living facilities, said that it would be using a “downtime procedure for some time,” because of the cyberattack. Downtime procedures are typically when health providers revert to backup processes, including paper records, that allow them to care for patients when computers are down.

It is not yet clear how many Ascension hospitals have been affected. It is one of the latest major hacking incidents that has hobbled the huge US healthcare system and sent US officials scrambling to offer support.

The ransomware attack on Change Healthcare in February also caused quite a headache to the officials, commented CEO of UnitedHealth Andrew Witty.

According to Witty, it is estimated that UnitedHealth paid a whopping 22 million ransom to cybercriminals to try to protect patient data from being leaked.

Charu Thakur