Hillcrest Hospitals Moved Off Emergency Divert Status Following Ransomware Attack

Hillcrest HealthCare said all hospitals are off the emergency divert status on Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 29th 2023, 3:55 pm

By: News On 6


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All hospitals in the Hillcrest HealthCare System are now off the emergency divert status.

Hillcrest Hospital South was the final location to come off the emergency divert at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. This means that patients will be able to use ambulance services and be taken to the Hillcrest Medical Center and five other regional hospitals in northeast Oklahoma.

Ardent Health Services, the company that owns Hillcrest Medical Center, says it found out about a ransomware attack Nov. 23 and diverted some incoming patients to other hospitals. Many surgeries were canceled or rescheduled due to the attack.

Hillcrest HealthCare System CEO Kevin Gross released the following statement on Wednesday:

“Over the past 36 hours, hospitals within Hillcrest HealthCare System moved off emergency divert, allowing ambulance services to transport patients to Hillcrest Medical Center and five other regional hospitals throughout northeast Oklahoma. This continues to be a rapidly changing situation, and we are grateful to once again accept emergency room patients by ambulance while continuing to provide the emergency care that we are known for throughout the community. We also thank our community partners for supporting Hillcrest and our patients during this time.”

What Does Divert Status Mean?

Hillcrest HealthCare said the divert status means hospitals have asked ambulance services to transport patients in need of emergency care to other area ERs. The hospital said it is a common practice nationwide to help ensure that critically ill patients have immediate access to the most appropriate level of care. It is not unusual for a hospital to go on and off divert multiple times during flu season, COVID surges, natural disasters, or even a large trauma event.

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