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A Case Study: Indiana University Health Improves the Way it Shares Patient Information

Posted by Marianna Prodan
Improving patient care with secure collaboration

Indiana is known for a lot of things: Notre Dame football, the birthplace of James Dean and David Letterman, five U.S. vice presidents, the Indy 500, the Studebaker, Hoosiers, the first gas pump and machine gun, and lots more.

Indiana isn’t however known for an overabundance of pediatric neurologists. There are only a few of these highly specialized practitioners in the state of Indiana and most of them are located in Indianapolis, the state capital. This presents a problem – and potentially a life threatening one – if a juvenile patient living in Gary is suffering seizures and needs to have her EEG results analyzed by a pediatric neurologist working in Indianapolis.

Typically this would require a two and a half hour car ride (without traffic) across the state. Best case scenario, this is an all day trip requiring Mom and/or Dad to miss a day of work and their daughter to miss a day of school. Worst case scenario, this is an ambulance or helicopter ride with a little girl’s life hanging in the balance. Either way, it’s a trip that everyone involved would like to avoid.

Indiana University (IU) Health, a comprehensive health system providing a broad range of treatments, therapies and other care services to children and adults across Indiana, utilizes Accellion’s kiteworks secure content collaboration platform to bundle numerous patient files from different systems and send them to specialists in other facilities and cities, like the scenario described above.

Previously, in non-emergency situations, medical staff at IU Health would copy data like sleep study results, x-rays, and other patient data onto CD-ROMs and ship them overnight to another medical facility. This was inefficient, costly, and did nothing to protect patient privacy. As a result, IU Health needed an alternative that was easy to use but also secure and compliant with HIPAA regulations.

David Boyer, who until recently led IU Health’s video conferencing and telemedicine efforts, was tasked with finding a solution. He found in kiteworks, Accellion’s content collaboration platform, a solution that met all of IU Health’s requirements. Security and efficiency however weren’t the only attributes that won Boyer over. Features such as a web user interface, email plug-in for Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, and automatic scan and delivery of files were additional value adds for Boyer. Also, an email-like interface with no file size limitations made the likelihood IU Health’s staff would adopt kiteworks, rather than a shadow IT solution or service, significantly higher.

The benefits Boyer, as well as IU Health medical staff, have realized since deploying kiteworks have been significant. Having all of a patient’s necessary data together and being able to send and receive it in real time has significantly sped the diagnosis process and, in turn, improved patient care. Jennifer Baron, former Director of IU Health’s telemedicine program summarizes, “what used to be done in two weeks can now be done in two hours.”

When specialists are able to collaborate effectively in a timely manner on patient cases, everybody wins.

To Learn More

To learn more how Accellion helps IU Health collaborate securely and efficiently, download the case study.