Cyberattack on Virginia Mason Franciscan Health impacting patients

Hospital officials said some appointments at St. Joseph had to be rescheduled and some health records were taken offline.

TACOMA, Wash – The parent company of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH), CommonSpirit Health, was targeted in a cyber attack.

VMFH officials said the attack is affecting several of its facilities across the country, including at least one facility in Pierce County.

Information is still limited on how the cyber attack occurred. But because of that, hospital officials said some appointments at St. Joseph had to be rescheduled, which caused concern for many patients and their families.

Mark Kellogg’s wife Kathy was scheduled to have surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on her tongue on Monday but had to reschedule.

“It’s scary, whenever you say cancer, the word is just scary,” Kellogg said.

VMFH officials said that as a precautionary step, they have taken some IT systems offline, which may include an electronic health record system. They said their facilities are following existing protocols for system failures and are taking steps to minimize disruption.

“Everything we do today is on a computer, and without it, you are going back to the Stone Age to write on a tablet,” says Kellogg.

Such was the disappointment from Kellogg and other patients at hospitals run by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

“The military was attacked, and you know, the bank is just an everyday occurrence,” Kellogg said.

Kathy has experienced cancer twice.

“When she got breast cancer, that kind of disease took it away from me,” says Kellogg.

By appointment again she was stressed during difficult times.

“We were concerned that it might take a couple of weeks to reschedule, you know how to schedule these things, but they could get her back right away, you know two days later,” Kellogg said. Kellogg said.

Kellogg said the surgery went well on Wednesday and doctors removed the tumor. He said it was a huge relief and admitted that he was lucky that the appointment hadn’t been delayed any longer.

“You have to deal with the cards that are dealt to you, and my wife always holds all of them,” says Kellogg.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health released a statement Wednesday that read:

“Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is committed to patient safety and continues to prioritize patients with the most urgent medical conditions. Our hospitals remain open and we encourage anyone experiencing an emergency to seek immediate medical attention. We recognize this is an frustrating time for our patients and staff and appreciate everyone’s patience as we work around the clock to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. We cannot thank our heroic staff members enough for their hard work and dedication to continue to care for our patients during this difficult time. “

https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/virginia-mason-cyber-attack/281-1b3eb4eb-e8d8-421f-9d07-29affaee6308 Cyberattack on Virginia Mason Franciscan Health impacting patients

Edmund DeMarche

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