INDIANAPOLIS – Ascension Healthcare System is still dealing with the effects of a cyber security breach, impacting medical facilities here in Indianapolis.

FOX59/CBS4 has spoken with local patients frustrated with their care, and now we’re sitting down with a nurse who is fed up with the complications they’ve had to deal with.

Justin Neisser is a working travel nurse and has been for the last 13 years. 

He said he enjoyed his first contract at Ascension St. Vincent so much that he resigned. Although his thoughts and feelings have changed since the ransomware attack on May 8. 

Ascension confirmed the attack when they detected unusual activity in their network systems.

“It’s pure chaos,” said Neisser. 

Due to security concerns, nurses are no longer able to use an electronic system for patient documentation.

He said everything is being done by hand, causing major backups. 

“There’s delays in X-ray, CTS, MRIs being read, delays in labs that are being sent down, delays in getting medications from the pharmacy, and even patients meals,” said Neisser. 

With handwritten orders, Neisser added there’s been a lot of mistakes.

“I’ve caught many, many errors,” said Neisser. “Medications that were supposed to be given orally that were administered IV, or vice versa. Medications that have been discontinued days ago that are still being given.”

Due to all the issues, Neisser said many nurses have left. On Sunday, he said his bosses asked him to fill in some of the staffing gaps in a unit where he hadn’t had any training.

“Me and another nurse, we decided that it’s not worth the patient’s risk. It’s not worth risking our own license as well in our professional career to take that assignment,” said Neisser.

He walked out and Ascension confirmed his contract was terminated.

Neisser said he’s worried officials aren’t doing anything to resolve the issues.

“I just want to warn those patients that are coming to any of the Ascension facilities, there will be delays in care. There is potential for error and for harm,” said Neisser.

Neisser added he heard it could take three to six months for things to go back to normal.

We reached out to Ascension Healthcare for a comment and did not receive a response.

An Ascension spokesperson released a statement on their website about the breach last week.

Their recent statement is below:

Ascension continues to work around the clock with industry-leading cybersecurity experts to safely restore operations across our network. We are hopeful that after the weekend, our patients and clinicians will see progress across our points of care. Many of our vendors and partners have also started the process of reconnecting to our network and resuming services with Ascension, which should help to accelerate our overall recovery.

Until that time, please know that our hospitals and facilities remain open and are providing care. Patients should continue to monitor the regional updates portion of this webpage for the latest information on a state-by-state basis.

We also want to extend a sincere note of gratitude to our dedicated clinicians who are providing care under challenging circumstances. The compassion and resilience you have displayed throughout this event is truly remarkable and is emblematic of Ascension’s mission to improve the health of the individuals and communities we serve.

Statement from Ascension St. Vincent

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