In early May, Scripps Health announced via a Facebook post that a ransomware attack targeted its systems on May 1, forcing it to suspend user access to IT applications related to operations at its health care facilities. Outpatient urgent care centre, Scripps HealthExpress locations, and Emergency Departments, however, remained operational.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the ransomware attack crippled Scripps Health’s electronic medical records system, forcing medical personnel to use paper records temporarily. The attack also affected the telemetry system used by medical facilities to electronically monitor patients’ vital signs.
The attack was critical enough to force all four Scripps hospitals in Encinitas, La Jolla, San Diego, and Chula Vista to transfer patients to other medical facilities. All trauma patients were also diverted from Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego in Hillcrest and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
“Our technical teams and vendor partners are working around the clock to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. We have notified law enforcement and the appropriate governmental organizations.
“We want to reassure our patients that our physicians and employees are well-trained and thoroughly prepared to respond to this sort of situation so that we can continue to care for the community’s health care needs,” the healthcare provider said.
Scripps Health issued a fresh update this Tuesday, stating that even though the cyber attack had caused disruption to IT systems at several hospitals and facilities, all affected systems are now restored and it has resumed normal operations.
“We appreciate your patience and understanding as we attend to an unusually high number of phone calls and MyScripps requests. Please know that providing you with the care you need is our number one priority. We are open and here for you,” it said.
Fox 5 San Diego reported that Scripps Health is in the process of notifying approximately 147,267 individuals whose health information and personal financial information was accessed by hackers who carried out the ransomware attack in May.
“For the less than 2.5% of individuals whose Social Security number and/or driver’s license number were involved, we will be providing complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection support services. At this point, we have no indication that any of this data has been used to commit fraud,” the company said in a news release.
“We have kicked off an extensive manual review of those documents. This is a time intensive process that will likely take several months, but we will notify affected individuals and entities as quickly as possible in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements,” it added.