Ascension St John Confirms Ransomware Attack, Does Not Know When Systems Will Be Back Up

Ascension St. John in Tulsa said they aren’t sure when their systems will be back up after a ransomware attack on their hospital and clinics. That attack has caused problems in hospitals in nearly a dozen states across the country.

Monday, May 13th 2024, 10:10 pm



Ascension St. John in Tulsa said they aren’t sure when their systems will be back up after a ransomware attack on their hospital and clinics. That attack has caused problems in hospitals in nearly a dozen states across the country.

Ascension said all of their medical centers in Oklahoma are still open but that some emergency patients were diverted to different local hospitals.

Ascension said the ransomware attack started last Wednesday. So far, it’s affected hospitals in 11 states, including Oklahoma.

Ascension said doctors’ appointments and surgeries are still going on as planned, but they are reaching out to some patients who need to reschedule.

Some appointments and walk-in patients at their urgent care centers are also facing delays.

Some Ascension pharmacies are also closed, so patients should bring their prescription number or prescription bottle with them when getting them filled and to appointments.

Ascension said their emergency rooms are still open and taking walk-in patients, but some ambulance patients were being diverted to other area hospitals instead.

Ascension said they are looking into whether personal health information was impacted as part of this attack.

A long-time employee said that the phones and computers do not work, so department directors are using walkie-talkies to communicate.

The hospital said because charts and orders need to be documented manually by hand, people are most likely going to be waiting longer for their visits and appointments.

Dr. Christopher Freeze, a cyber-security expert who works as an Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at OU-Tulsa, who is not affiliated with the hospital, says hospitals are increasingly being hit with ransomware attacks.

He said in cases like this, the investigation will probably take a while.

"In this case, it's going to be digital forensics, digital evidence,” said Freeze. “They're going to need to understand, through collection and analysis of computer logs and computer data, what exactly happened. When did it take place, how extensive it is."

Ascension said they are still investigating with cybersecurity experts and federal law enforcement and will continue to provide updates.

Editor's Note: Ascension St. John said all emergency rooms are now open and accepting walk-in patients. Ascension said if you are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 911, and local emergency services will transport you to the most appropriate hospital emergency room.

Click here for updates from Oklahoma Ascension medical centers.

Click here for nationwide Ascension updates.

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