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CASE STUDY – Healthcare

How an In-home Care Provider protects patient data and boosts efficiency

A major Australian player

Home Care Plus* is a division of a major Australian health insurer. It provides nursing, care and support for senior patients in their own homes, and it has offices and nursing staff in every state. The nursing staff operates as an extended team that needs to access and share patient data, medical histories, home care plans, family histories and other details.

Close collaboration is essential among nurses, case workers and care coordinators. Frequently doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists are also involved. The nurses are at the front line, traveling to patients’ homes and checking their progress. To do their jobs, they routinely use tablets or smartphones to access patient data and histories.

Their Hubvault technology means users don’t need to run the risk of browsing or having data cached on their devices. It provides multiple data encryption, too, and the master key doesn’t reside on the device. Very impressive.

Maryanne Bianchi
Head of Integrated Services

Highly mobile workers

Patient data are highly confidential documents containing sensitive personal details. That’s why they’re protected by legislation in western countries, where heavy fines apply if confidentiality or privacy are broken. Even so, data leaks and breaches in the health sector are surprisingly common. The risk of data breaches or accidental leakage is greater when these records are stored on mobile devices. That’s why Maryanne Bianchi*, Head of Integrated Services at Home Care Plus, set out to find a more secure platform for the essential document sharing that was basic to the Home Care Plus business.

Bianchi’s list of requirements included:

  • Robust security to ensure that patient records and related documents are always protected
  • Security features designed to protect mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, both online and offline
  • Easy to use for nurses, with security functions not interfering with the way they worked
  • Affordable, device-independent and easy to deploy across the organisation.

Comparing the short list

Bianchi and her team shortlisted three solutions:
A cloud-based enterprise file sharing service
An enterprise collaboration platform/toolset that’s widely used in large organisations
CommandHub.

The file sharing service was attractive because it was easy to use and affordable, but it fell short on the requirement for robust security. With mobile devices, it relied on device encryption for security, with the key stored on the device. It also offered no offline intrusion protection. In addition, data sovereignty was an issue, with no guarantee that the cloud service storing the patient data would always be hosted in Australia.

While the enterprise collaboration platform told a stronger story on this issue, with data stored in regional data centres, US companies are obliged to share their data with US security agencies if asked, regardless of where the data reside.

It soon became obvious that this other option would need a lot of customisation to suit our pretty simple needs. We didn’t want that.

Maryanne Bianchi
Head of Integrated Services

For Bianchi, there were other concerns with this solution. She said, ‘It soon became obvious that this other option would need a lot of customisation to suit our pretty simple needs. We didn’t want that’. In addition, the customisation could only be carried out by specialised IT staff who were already stretched at Home Care Plus. This option was also the most expensive.

Commandhub looked like the most attractive option for several reasons:

Its robust security for mobile devices
Ease of use with an intuitive user interface
The flexibility to set up folder structures that reflected the way nurses worked
The ability to use the mobile device camera’s photo roll meant there was no need to save images to a hard drive
The architecture ensured complete segregation of patient data, and of care coordinators’ areas of responsibility.

Proof of Concept results

Bianchi and her team ran a 4-week trial with CommandHub involving care co-ordinators and nurses. The nurses rigorously tested the setting up of folder structures to suit their exact needs and examined the product’s ability to control the collaboration process.

In particular, they wanted to test CommandHub’s ability to ensure that everyone adhered to Home Care Plus business rules when using patient data.

‘The other key factor for us was the CommandHub’s mobile device security,’ Bianchi made clear. ‘Their Hubvault technology means users don’t need to run the risk of browsing or having data cached on their devices.

“It provides multiple data encryption, too, and the master key doesn’t reside on the device. Very impressive.’

Results and next steps

A team of over 50 nurses has been using CommandHub for some months. The nurses and care co-ordinators have reported:
Significant efficiency gains, resulting in their ability to service more patients
The ability to provide a higher level of service for patients
Seamless communication with the company’s Document Management system.

‘CommandHub works really well in our business,’ Bianchi sums up, ‘it supports how our teams work and we’ve been just as impressed with the level of service from the company.’

Once the product is fully bedded down, Bianchi plans to explore additional CommandHub functions that can support the business and its future needs.

Contact us about how CommandHub can secure your sensitive collaborations.

CommandHub works really well in our business. It supports how our teams work and we’ve been just as impressed with the level of service from the company.

Maryanne Bianchi
Head of Integrated Services

* Our contracts with clients prohibit us from naming them. These names have been changed to preserve the client’s privacy