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Scripps Ransomware Attack: Patients Say Portals Back Online, Some Getting Treatment Elsewhere

Outside of Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, May 26, 2021.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: Outside of Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, May 26, 2021.

Some Scripps Health patients said Friday they can once again access their health care records online following a ransomware attack that was first discovered on May 1.

Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder said Monday in a letter to patients he hoped to have online health records, including patients' MyScripps portals, up by the end of the week.

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

Scripps officials would not confirm or deny that patient health records were back online, but a statement posted to their website Thursday said, "Our systems are now being restored and we are making great strides in resuming normal operations."

The message, dated May 27, added, "There is still more work to do, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we attend to an unusually high number of phone calls and MyScripps requests."

RELATED: Scripps Ransomware Attack Nears Fourth Week, Some Systems Still Down

It has been four weeks since the ransomware attack hit Scripps Health which has resulted in some patients appointments, bloodwork and other procedures being rescheduled or outsourced. Some cancer patients are still being treated at other health systems as Scripps teams work to fully restore systems.

A Sharp HealthCare spokesperson said Thursday they were still coordinating with Scripps to take care of cancer patients that need radiation and oncology services.

UC San Diego Health officials reported on May 10 they were treating patients with "pressing" needs that included cancer patients. On Thursday a UCSD Health spokesman said that care was continuing, and added they were still seeing an increased number of patients in their emergency rooms. When the ransomware attack was first discovered on May 1, at least some Scripps hospitals had their emergency rooms on partial bypass.

"UC San Diego Health continues to treat some Scripps Health patients and see increased activity in our emergency departments associated with the consequences of the Scripps cyberattack," a UCSD Health spokesperson said Thursday. "Services and systems at UC San Diego Health are unaffected, and remain normal and fully operational."

Scripps and San Diego County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) officials would not say if any Scripps emergency rooms were still on full or partial bypass.

The state health department said Thursday they were continuing to monitoring the ongoing use of emergency plan protocols at Scripps facilities.

"These hospitals are operational and caring for patients using appropriate protocols," a spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said.

CDPH could suspend a facility's license in extreme cases where there are immediate risks to patient safety. Additionally, CDPH officials said at least 11 complaints relating to the cyber attack have been recorded from patients.

"Details about any potential pending or ongoing investigation are kept confidential until the investigation is complete and findings are issued to the facility," a CDPH spokesperson said.

CEO Van Gorder said earlier in the week Scripps was supporting a federal law enforcement investigation.

Scripps hospitals and urgent care centers are open and accepting patients. People are encouraged to call 800-727-4777 to check on existing or upcoming services.

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Photo of Matt Hoffman

Matt Hoffman
Health Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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