Leading hospital operator Ascension reports clinical disruption following suspected cyberattack – NBC Chicago

Leading hospital operator Ascension said its clinical operations and systems were disrupted after a suspected “cybersecurity event.”

The hospital system announced the disruption Wednesday, saying it had “detected unusual activity on certain technology systems.”

“At this time, we continue to investigate the situation,” the hospital operator’s statement read in part. “We responded immediately, launched our investigation and activated our remediation efforts.”

Ascension added that it is advising its business partners to temporarily suspend connections to its systems.

“There has been a disruption to clinical operations and we continue to assess the impact and duration of this disruption,” the statement said. No other timetable was provided.

Ascension is one of the largest hospital systems in Illinois, with 150 care sites and 14 hospitals, including Ascension St. Francis in Evanston, Ascension Resurrection in Chicago, Ascension Saint Mary in Kankakee and Ascension Alexian Brothers in Elk Grove Village .

“Our healthcare teams are trained for these types of disruptions and have initiated procedures to ensure that the delivery of patient care continues to be safe and as minimally impacted as possible,” the statement added.

Ascension is the latest major healthcare system to be impacted by a disruptive cybersecurity event. Earlier this year, a “cybersecurity issue” at Lurie Children’s Hospital caused computer systems to be down for months. UnitedHealth Group also suffered a recent cyberattack, leaving many healthcare providers temporarily unable to provide medications or get reimbursed for their services from insurers for months.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

NBC Chicago

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