Ascension cyberattack: Electronic health records restored, system says

Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital

Ascension Wisconsin on Monday announced it has successfully restored electronic health record access – weeks after a cyberattack upended the health care system's operations

The record restoration will allow most hospital departments, doctor's offices and clinics to use electronic documents, charts and ordering systems. Ascension said patients should see improved efficiencies and wait times. 

Restoration of other technology systems remains ongoing.

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A ransomware attack against the health care system led to headaches and frustration and May. It disrupted access to patient records.

While it was part of a national cyberattack, FOX6 heard from patients in Wisconsin. One patient wrote that they were unable get their sister's death certificate signed, and another patient said they could not get chemotherapy, in the initial days of the incident. The list of complaints went on.


Ascension cyberattack: Patients, nurses frustrated as problems persist

It has been nearly a week since the Ascension hospital system experienced a cyberattack. Patients and staff continue to have problems; few have answers.

"One of my friends had surgery. Can’t even get pain medication for her surgery because there’s no record," Ascension patient Crystal Love said at the time.

An emergency room nurse told FOX6 in May that the cyberattack caused dangerous delays in getting lab and imaging results.

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Connie Smith, president of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses, said they had to work off paper records. The biggest challenges were with outpatient care and radiology.

"When you’re comparing exams, that’s where we’re going to have our biggest issue, because you don’t have the comparison there to look at," she said.