Since its launch in 1948, the NHS has grown to become the world’s largest publicly funded health service, providing medical care to more than 60 million UK residents. The South Devon Health Informatics Service (SDHIS) provides IT support services to the South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust. These two trusts together employ approximately 6,000 staff, including nurses, occupational therapists, and social workers. The Trust’s mission is to provide the right care at the right time across numerous community hospitals and clinics serving more than 375,000 people.
Demands on the NHS continue to grow. In response, the Trusts have a strategic initiative to enable new ways of working. They were ready to embrace mobile technology if it was going to truly enhance productivity but it couldn’t come at the expense of patient privacy. “Following failed attempts with COWs (Computers On Wheels) and some early tablets, it was the release of the iPad 2 that opened the door to fundamentally changing how our employees work,” said David Hayes, IT Operations Manager for SDHIS. “Suddenly, we had a device small enough for clinical staff to carry around but powerful enough to support their daily computing needs. The question was, ‘How can we provide the functionality our employees need, but keep the devices and the patient data they hold secure?’” Not long after mobile devices were introduced, Hayes and his team noticed a disturbing trend: the medical staff was turning to free, consumer-based file-sharing solutions like Dropbox to share and collaborate on patient data.
“Having employees use unsecure, unapproved applications was a huge risk that did not comply with our information governance polices,” said Hayes. “We needed a way for staff to easily share important documents but with watertight security, comprehensive audit trails and files hosted on-site.” The Trust turned to its partner Bridgeway Security for recommendations. Accellion was at the top of their list. The Trust embarked on a six-month trial of Accellion to ensure the product’s encryption, authentication and overall security features would properly safeguard confidential healthcare information. The trial was a success and the Trust moved forward with Accellion.
“With Accellion, we’ve empowered users to work in different ways, in a manner that makes them more productive, and it’s allowing us to shift how we deliver services – all for the better.” David Hayes, IT Operations Manager.
Deployed on a private cloud architecture, Accellion immediately had a positive impact on the Trust’s day-to-day operations, allowing employees to securely collaborate on Protected Health Information (PHI).
“Our use of Accellion is spreading through our organization like a spider’s web – creating instant collaboration networks with independent providers, health care professionals, and other third-parties,” said Hayes. “Mobile technology and cloud computing have enabled a new way of working. We have senior executives who now do 95 percent of their work on an iPad, and Accellion ensures this is done in a safe and secure way.” The Trust has identified additional opportunities to incorporate Accellion into its workflows. The following use cases are just two examples of how the Trust utilizes Accellion beyond internal collaboration of PHI. Streamlining Board Communications At executive board meetings, an administrator previously would prepare the agenda and meeting notes, print and bind the documents and distribute hard copies, each one as much as an inch thick. Now, the content is uploaded to an Accellion workspace, enabling users to view, annotate and share feedback as desired – before, during or after the meeting, from any location. Plus, the most up-to-date versions are easily synced to the devices of their choosing so they can access the information whenever they need it.
Improving Patient Care
The Trust recognizes that Accellion provides the same level of security for external partners as it does for internal collaborators. Therefore, the Trust is utilizing Accellion to enhance its interactions with third-party agencies. For example, Accellion workspaces serve as a “go-to” location with the Care Trusts and residential homes. Here teams work together on individual patient cases and ongoing projects – providing a seamless way to create, edit, and finalize documents. “Giving people the right tools to complete work-related tasks from anywhere at any time is a game changer,” said Hayes. “With Accellion, we’ve empowered users to work in different ways, in a manner that makes them more productive, and it’s allowing us to shift how we deliver services – all for the better.”
Wide breadth of security features, including encryption and authentication to ensure patient data is shared and collaborated upon securely.
Support for mobile devices makes sharing and collaborating on patient data more efficient, increasing medical staff productivity.
COOL USE CASE
External collaboration with specialists in care facilities and released patients recovering at home extends and improves patient care.
Accellion, Inc. enables enterprise organizations to collaborate on content with external partners securely via private cloud. Enterprises can leave existing content where it lives today, and extend it outside the firewall without having to migrate content or disrupt their business workflows. Accellion’s solutions are used by more than 15 million users and 2,500 of the world’s leading corporations and government agencies including Procter & Gamble; KPMG; Kaiser Permanente; Latham & Watkins; National Park Service; Umpqua Bank; Cargill; and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).