Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals
Press Release

Nurses and Healthcare Workers Statement on Ascension Cybersecurity Event


Wednesday, May 8th, Ascension’s electronic health record (EHR) was unexpectedly taken off-line. Union members of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals at Ascension St. Francis are concerned about their ability to provide the quality care that patients deserve, including concerns over delayed test results, access to doctors, and increased chance for medical errors. At the time of this press release, the system is not up and our members have been told there is “no end in sight.”

The loss of our EHR has dramatically slowed down care and significantly reduced nurse’s and other healthcare workers’ ability to care for patients. Our members are concerned about management’s response to this crisis, for reasons including:

  1. Administration refusing to divert patients at St. Francis Hospital
  2. Operator and emergency alert phone number not working
  3. Tele-neuro not readily available for stroke alerts
  4. Physician database not available – unable to adequately page MD’s
  5. No way to look up prior EKG’s for cardiac patients
  6. No way to confirm orders or insurance coverage for outpatient exams
  7. Delay of imaging results
  8. Delay of care

Emergency Room nurses asked administration to begin diverting patients to other hospitals, as Ascension facilities have started to do in other states. Top administration refused to respond directly to nurses by the time of this press release. It is our understanding that lower level supervisors have been instructed to tell nurses that there will be no diversion, and nurses must take a higher number of patients than what has been agreed between the union and management as an appropriate staffing ratio, exacerbating this crisis.

The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals condemns Ascension’s failure to respond appropriately to the loss of the charting system. We believe Ascension must do more to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

Mentioned in This Press Release

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