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Ascension Wisconsin says they have restored access to electronic health records

Ascension had been dealing with a cyberattack since early May, interrupting its network systems.
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Posted at 11:25 AM, Jun 10, 2024

(NBC 26) — Ascension Wisconsin says they have successfully restored access to its electronic health records, which is significantly improving electronic patient documentation.

"This will allow most hospital departments, physician offices and clinics to use electronic documentation, charting, and ordering systems," Ascension said in a statement. "Patients should see improved efficiencies and wait times. Our team continues to work tirelessly to restore other ancillary technology systems."

All Ascension hospitals and locations remain open and continue to provide patient care, according to the health system. Ascension has multiple locations in Northeast Wisconsin, especially in the Fox Cities.

"Restoring our electronic health record is significant progress in a complex process, and we thank our patients and community for their support, patience and understanding, as well as our dedicated clinicians who continue to provide high-quality care," Ascension said. "Rest assured, our commitment to the health and safety of our community remains our highest priority."

The news comes on the heels of a cyberattack that interrupted its network systems, including its phones and computers. The data breach delayed patients' appointments and forced medical staff to take patient notes by hand.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Dean of College of Health Professions and Sciences Kim Litwack told our sister station TMJ4 News the situation was like having to re-learn daily operations.

"We have nurses now who have never seen paper charts," Litwack told TMJ4's Miriam Mackar. "I started with paper charts, but those have been long gone."

"We teach them how to chart very well, but no, we do not teach them how to paper and pencil chart anymore," Litwack said.

Ascension says additional updates can be found on its cybersecurity event update page.