Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital reactivating MyChart after cyberattack

CHICAGO — Lurie Children’s Hospital has started to reactivate its MyChart online patient portal, more than a month after falling victim to a cyberattack.

Lurie plans to bring back MyChart over the coming days, the health system said in a statement. Patients will soon be able to use MyChart again for online scheduling, e-check-in, to send messages to providers, to request medication refills and to pay bills, Lurie said.

Lurie warned that patients may experience some disruptions when using MyChart because of “anticipated high volume of MyChart activity.” Lurie is also working to update MyChart with information collected over the last month-and-a-half while MyChart was down.

“We do not have an estimate when this work will be complete, and we will provide updates as this process progresses,” Lurie said. “We thank our patient-families for their continued patience.”

Lurie said early last week that it had restored many of its other systems but had not yet brought back MyChart.

Lurie took its phone, email and electronic medical record systems offline Jan. 31, after the cyberattack, following “protocols for cybersecurity matters,” Lurie said in a previous statement. The health system’s hospital, outpatient centers and primary care offices were affected, making it more difficult for patients to reach providers, and leaving doctors taking notes with pen and paper during patient visits, as they did decades ago.

Lurie opened a call center after the cyberattack, and the FBI previously confirmed to the Tribune that it was assisting with an investigation into the incident.

Hospital officials said last month that their network had been accessed by “a known criminal threat actor.” The officials later pointed to claims by Rhysida, an overseas ransomware operation, related to the cyberattack.

In recent days, it’s been reported that Rhysida has claimed to have sold data it stole from Lurie.

“We are aware that individuals claiming to be Rhysida, a known threat actor, claim to have sold data they allege was taken from Lurie Children’s,” said Lurie spokesperson Julianne Bardele, in a statement earlier this week. “We continue to work closely with internal and external experts as well as law enforcement, and are actively investigating the claims. The investigation is ongoing, and we will share updates as appropriate.”

In August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a warning about Rhysida, saying the group attacks institutions, demands a ransom paid in Bitcoin and threatens to publicly distribute stolen information if the ransom isn’t paid.

Lurie sees more than 239,000 patients each year.