MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health getting records back online after ransomware attack

Oct 18, 2022, 6:14 PM

virginia mason...

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is getting some of its patient records systems back online after a ransomware attack on its parent company, CommonSpirit Health, two weeks ago.

The hospital group, which has hospitals and clinics in King, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties, had to take its databases offline at some of its locations after the attack.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health told KIRO Newsradio in an email that providers would now be able to access patients’ electronic health records.

“Throughout this process, we have taken steps to protect our systems and maintain continuity of care,” the hospital chain said. “We are only taking steps to restore systems when it is safe and secure to do so.”

St. Michael ER in Bremerton still closed, no reopening date in sight

KIRO 7 TV reports that Virginia Mason Franciscan patients will also again be able to access their MyChart portals.

“It will take some time before we can restore full functionality and we continuously work to bring our systems up as quickly and safely as we can,” the hospital group said.

However, patients’ troubles do not appear to be over.

The ransomware attack comes on top of an already challenging staffing situation at Virginia Mason Franciscan’s Silverdale hospital, St. Michael Medical Center.

Kitsap County resident Brooke Hammett told KIRO Newsradio’s Gee and Ursula Show that the staff at St. Michael’s emergency room turned her father-in-law away last week, despite his concerning medical symptoms.

“He had really low blood pressure and some symptoms that may have suggested that he had sepsis,” Hammett said.

She said her father was on “an hour-long, bumpy ambulance ride” to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.

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“There have been a lot of issues with wait times at the ER [at St. Michael Medical Center] for months now … it’s just a norm, if you have to go to the ER, you probably are going to be there for eight hours, nine hours, unless you are having a life-threatening emergency,” she said.

The hospital system did not answer KIRO Newsradio’s questions about which locations have been impacted by the ransomware attack, how this may have affected operations, and how many patients were affected.

The State Department of Health told KIRO Newsradio in an email that it is receiving “some reports about concerns caused by the data outage.”

The Kitsap County Health District said in an email that it has not received any requests for help from St. Michael Medical Center.

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