Data at Scripps Health is Hacked


Photo via KPBS

Ella Reinbolt, Staff Writer

On May 1, 2021, the Scripps Health information systems were damaged by a ransomware attack, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). This attack has been going on the entire last week and is still being dealt with. Patients have not been in contact with their doctors, and staff have not been able to do their jobs. Many patients are upset at the silence of Scripps Health officials, who have only released one statement on the situation.

Patients and families are frustrated due to a lack of communication with the doctors, as the Patient Portal app has been shut down. According to the San Diego Tribune, Scripps has not released much information about the attack and has only said that the network outage was caused by malware. The cyberattack caused appointments to be rescheduled, email servers to be affected, and suspended access to Patient Portal and other Scripps-related apps. Freshman Sophia Parker said,  “I really hope the patients are able to get the treatment they need during this time. I can’t imagine how upset the families and patients are right now.” Many of these patients have been transferred to nearby hospitals like Sharp Healthcare and have to be treated there instead of at Scripps. The “My Scripps” app is an app that allows patients to communicate with their doctors easily. Through this app, patients can make and reschedule appointments, messaging doctors, and tracking prescriptions. The app is currently down, meaning patients have virtually no way of contacting their doctors unless they use their personal phones to call and message patients. 

Employees at Scripps have also had a hard time dealing with this situation and have been negatively affected. At least three employees told NBC News that their hours have been cut due to postponed procedures and that they have to use their vacation time or not get paid for the cut hours. Freshman Julia Diresto said, “It’s so unfair that the employees are struggling during this time. It’s not their fault the data got hacked… They should still get the same amount of pay.” Additionally, Doctors have not been able to contact patients and have not been able to do their jobs well during this time. Scripps Health patient Gary Miner has said that the lack of information from the CEO concerns since he is always willing to speak out. Miner also noted that the current situation has caused him to re-evaluate the trust he has in the organization. 

Scripps has not released much information to the public and has only left one statement from the CEO, Chris Van Gorder. The attack is a serious crime and is under federal investigation, so the Gorder has said that not much information can be released to the public at this time and that their current focus is caring for their patients.