Health Information Exchange Featured Article

September 24, 2012

Hospital Centralizes Patient Data Management for Security, Privacy

Reduce the manual tasks associated with desktop management, cut the number of helpdesk calls, improve efficiency for caretakers and remain HIPAA and FDA compliant.   

For Upson Regional Medical Center in Atlanta (URMC), pulling all this together meant staying in business and moving forward.

URMC, a 150-bed hospital that provides acute care services, desperately needed a desktop management solution to keep IT processes up and running at the hospital’s main campus and across multiple clinic sites.

With more than 500 desktops, 60 servers and 180 software applications to manage, the URMC IT team – understaffed in relation to the amount of calls it was receiving – had to manage incoming requests, and at the same time focus on remaining HIPAA-compliant.

The computers were overloaded with software, and it could take up to three minutes for clinicians to log into their desktops, and up to two days to load a new computer. 

Image via Shutterstock

The hospital found the solution with RES Workspace Manager and RES Automation Manager, which centrally manages IT functions. Clinicians now have access to the software they need at all times, no longer having to spend valuable hours waiting for requests to be processed by the help desk. If calls are made to the help desk, IT can work through the management console to resolve problems quickly, even for remote locations.

“Security and privacy of patient data is critical in a hospital, as we are strictly regulated by the FDA and HIPAA. With RES Software, we are able to manage everything centrally and automatically. From a compliance perspective, this is huge,” said George Curtis, CIO at URMC.

Data breaches have become a daily occurrence for healthcare organizations. Nearly 20 million patient health records have been compromised since the August 2009 Breach Notification Rule, which requires that HIPAA-covered groups give notification following a data breach involving 500 or more individuals, according to Erin McCann.

And it’s not cheap. Experts say it’s costing the healthcare system almost $7 billion a year. 

Keeping data under lock and key is crucial today. While electronic health records are making it easier for both doctor and patient, they are much more prone to theft – and inappropriate or illegal use – than paper-based files. 

Hospitals must stay on top of their patient data, keeping it compliant with federal rules, and protected, at all times.

Edited by Braden Becker