Ascension restores Illinois hospitals’ online systems after ransomware attack

Ascension has restored the electronic records systems of its Illinois hospitals about a month after they went offline due to a ransomware attack.

The hospital group, which operates Ascension Resurrection in Chicago, St. Alexius in Hoffman Estates and Alexian Brothers in Elk Grove Village, said it fell victim to a ransomware attack on May 8.

In what Ascension called an “unprecedented situation,” hospitals were forced to use paper records, and some ambulances were withdrawn from emergency rooms in the first hours after the attack.

Ascension expects to have electronic records restored at the remaining hospitals by Friday. Electronic systems were still down Tuesday at hospitals in Indiana, Michigan and Washington, DC.

The St. Louis-based hospital group operates 140 hospitals in 19 states. In Illinois, Ascension operates 15 hospitals and 230 nursing facilities.

Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago fell victim to a ransomware attack this year that took down its phone, email and computer systems for six weeks.