Patient struggles to get treatment amid Scripps Health cyberattack

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SAN DIEGO – A cyberattack crippling one of the largest health care providers in the county now is impacting patients struggling to get their treatments.

Scripps Health said Wednesday the weekend cyberattack that took down many of its systems stemmed from malware on its computer networks.

According to a Wednesday afternoon statement, an investigation conducted by Scripps Health and an independent cybersecurity firm has determined that the network outage that began Saturday occurred “due to a security incident involving malware,” leading the health care system to take a large portion of its network offline as a protective measure.

The result will keep Susan Hoehn from getting her skin cancer treatments for at least the rest of the week and possibly longer until the issue is resolved. She worries it’s hurting other patients, too.

“I have feel so much better going through treatments,” said Hoehn, who suffers from persistent skin cancer which requires daily radiation treatment from Scripps MD Anderson Center. “I feel like there’s hope and I got something in control here and when they take away my healing opportunities, I do feel nervous.”

Though no timeline for recovery has been hinted at, Scripps Health stated that its technical teams “are working 24/7 to restore our systems as quickly and safely as possible, and in a manner that prioritizes our ability to provide patient care.”

Further details on the nature of the attack were not disclosed, though Scripps Health indicated in a prior statement it has “notified law enforcement and the appropriate governmental organizations.”

“An interruption like this is going to cause I don’t know what kind of delays,” Hoehn said. “I don’t know if that means longer treatments or more intense treatments.”

Those with appointments slated for the next few days were advised to call 1-800-SCRIPPS for more information.

“While this incident has resulted in operational disruptions at our hospitals and facilities, our clinical staff is trained to provide care in these types of situations, and are committed to doing so,” the statement read.

“Scripps Health physicians, nurses and staff are implementing workarounds to mitigate any disruptions and provide uninterrupted care to our patients.”

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