Recent Cyberattacks Crippling Health Care Infrastructures

Recent Cyberattacks Crippling Health Care Infrastructures

Below are 5 tips to prepare

Every sector of our modern life is dependent upon the grid.

Cyber-attacks are on the rise, hitting every sector of our lives. From threats issued on our public water supply and electric grid to banking systems and airlines already attacked; the most life-threatening- cyberattack to date involved ransomware demands on a multistate healthcare system.

Imagine a world without all the conveniences and comforts of our current medical system.

A cyberattack in your state could happen at any time, any place, and in any part of your healthcare system.

 In the recent attack on Ascension health care, which affected 15 states, nurses and care providers had to resort to paper and pen to chart. Patient records are still not accessible in some states, and several pharmacies are still not operating. Imaging services which involve x-rays, CAT scans, and MIRI were suspended for several days; laboratories had to shutter their doors, and patients were turned away from the ER in some states. As of date, many pharmacies are still not operational, patients still cannot access their charts and clinics are having to rely on patients’ own recall of tests, results, history, medications taken, and more.

Last month, a cyber-attack hit Change Healthcare, a company owned by United Health Group. People were unable to have their medications processed through the insurance, leaving them with having to pay out of pocket for their medications.

Record Drug Shortages Revealed in University Of Utah Survey in collaboration with American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)

Demand exceeded supply over the first quarter of 2024. A shortage of 323 drugs was recorded for 2024, exceeding the 2014 shortage of 320.

National Drug Shortages – Active Shortages by Quarter – 10-Year Trend

Source: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists/University of Utah Graphic: Deidre McPhillips, CNN

Antibiotics and heart medications were among some of the shortages that could prove life-threatening in the event the supply completely dries up. Most of our drugs are manufactured or ingredients sourced in India and China. If an attack on the shipping sector- or more horrifying, on the drug manufacturers, happens, lifesaving medications could be unavailable for an extended period of time.

5 Steps to Prepare for a Healthcare Cyberattack

  1. Download and print our get prepared for any emergency pdf. This list is designed for any emergency you may face, not only cyberattacks.
  2. Purchase our Emergency First Aid Kit Plus, which contains an Epi-pen, a lifesaving drug in case of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), which is on the drug shortage list. The Emergency Medical Kit contains Augmentin, an antibiotic with many uses, and is on the drug shortage list.
  3. Take inventory of your medicine cabinet. If you have small children or disabled in your family, make sure their medical needs are met. Remember the formula shortage? That could very well be Pedialyte and infant antidiarrheal medications. Discuss the needs of your child or disabled loved one with our doctor and have those items on hand.
  4. Keep a file of everyone in our family hard copy of medical history, lab and imaging tests, diagnosis, medications, and allergies. The first thing Ascension Healthcare is still struggling with is the lack of patient information, given the attack hasn’t allowed access to many patient records.
  5. Take a course in first aid and CPR. Your local Red Cross Chapter has classes all across the nation. If your child is old enough, enroll them in an age-appropriate first aid class.

Don’t put any of the above steps off. Cyberattacks are ramping up. It is just a matter of time of when, not if you will be affected.


Written by Brooke Lounsbury

About our editorial team

The TWC Editorial team is comprised of various wellness practitioners from physiotherapists, acupuncturists, fitness instructors, herbalists, and MDs.

This article does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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