Cyberattack disrupts employees at Scripps Health

Local

SAN DIEGO – A Scripps Health employee is frustrated and feeling left in the dark after the local health care system was hit by a cyberattack this month.

The San Diego-based nonprofit system said last week the cyberattack stemmed from a “security incident involving malware on our computer networks.” It’s led Scripps, which operates five acute care hospitals in San Diego as well as a number of outpatient centers and clinics, to take a large portion of its network offline as a protective measure.

The employee, who spoke to FOX 5 on the condition of anonymity, works in the system’s business unit with hundreds of other employees. She said the only communications she’s had has been through text and email, which let her know she will not be working for at least another week.

“We’re not allowed to go into the office,” the employee said. “I have a laptop at home that I’m not allowed to use because you can’t even login to the system. However, we are given option to be put into a work pool.

“You’re not guaranteed any work, but you’re put into this work pool and you can possibly be called daily to go work somewhere in a different department.”

In the interim, UC San Diego Health and Sharp both are reporting increases in patients to their emergency departments. UCSD also is working with Scripps to take over care of certain patients with pressing treatments that can’t be pushed back.

Scripps has declined multiple reporter requests for interviews. In the system’s most recent update last week, Scripps said it’s not able to provide additional details “so as not to compromise the investigation and to maintain our focus on providing the highest level of patient care.”

Like most families, the employee told FOX 5 she depends on her paycheck to cover bills. Not knowing if she will be paid only adds to the frustration.

“Our options have been either we use our PTO — the time that we have earned to get time off to be with our families or to use for vacation or sick time or holidays,” she said. “We have to use our time to be off for this mistake or we can choose to not get paid at all.”

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