Rx for the Pain of Secure Data Transfer in Healthcare
A proven solution to resolve data silos, integration, and security challenges
High tech CEO Dave Corbin found himself in a decidedly low-tech world of data silos, manual processes, and non-interoperability when he was going in for knee surgery. Welcome to the current world of health care in the United States. Despite billions of dollars committed to streamlining patient information and data flows through multiple public and private providers and payers, it was clear to Corbin that lots of work remains to improve these stakeholders’ and patients’ experiences.
Corbin’s surgical experience started with his orthopedic surgeon, who initially referred Corbin to several external providers that would administer different tests, such as MRIs, blood work, and EKGs. The surgeon worked at a separate surgical center rather than a hospital, as is often the case today. In addition to the surgeon, there was an anesthesiologist and other operating room staff—each requiring separate billing and other contacts. As Corbin recalled, “The net result was that my medical information for a relatively routine surgery was spread over at least five locations, and in many data formats.”
Like many of us, Corbin was caught up in a system where, say, a local emergency room near a ski area has to coordinate all of the patient information with a hospital or surgical center for scheduling. The hospital then needs to communicate all of the results from the surgery back to the clinic and to other specialists. Inevitably, multiple payers are involved. Today, most of these complex,shared communications occur manually in an environment where personal data is highly regulated. Health care data silos can start in the very cloistered world of hospitals and then move along through various providers still using fax machines, to share “secure” patient medical records.
So much for streamlined, or integrated and interoperable patient health information.
A bona fide crisis in data management and flows
A major, publicly available report from Deloitte zeroes in on the data flow crisis in U.S. health care. Based in part on the proceedings of meetings with more than 40 senior health care executives at the MIT Media Lab in Boston, the report notes that advances in various digital technologies have left the health care environment with a broad array of disparate systems that are supposed to seamlessly provide patient information to those who need it. “Each new wave of innovation claims to simplify or streamline a process that the previous wave had supposedly made efficient or effective,” the report states. “Subsequently there are so many versions of the truth it’s hard to tell which one is right.”1
It also remains true that high levels of security and strict regulation around patient health information are essential for all organizations in the health care environment to protect a patient’s information and privacy. To illustrate the value of personal health records, a single stolen record can fetch up to $1,000 on the dark web. By contrast, a stolen credit card can be worth less than $1 because the patient record contains permanent, immutable data while the credit card record is void once the number is changed.2
The data security mandate
Every piece of personal health information in the health care process requires that it is secure at rest and in transit. There are a myriad of rules governing who can access specific information. Health care IT solutions must ensure that all of this data is secured to protect both the data and the person. That’s why it isn’t surprising that 25% of health care IT decision makers plan to invest in data integration solutions and technologies this year, according to TechTarget’s 2018 IT Priorities survey.3
Another major report from PwC sums up the current digital dilemma in health care particularly well. The report notes that information-driven health care initiatives lean heavily on having just the right information delivered to the right place at the right time by and for the right people. “To really use technology effectively in health[care], we need systems to interact with one another to provide the data required to make informed decisions about the delivery of care,” the report states.4
The enormous volumes of data from patient records, connected devices, and the highly complex data chain resulting from an intricate network of hospitals, providers, payers, pharmacies, clearing houses and government, makes the supporting IT infrastructure at least as critical as the front end of operations.
Innovation from HULFT
HULFT has developed solutions providing both the secure back-end data transfer and integration technologies to enable health care organizations with the interoperability they’re seeking. The end result for these organizations is a foundation for an overall enterprise data strategy that makes data more accessible and useful. HULFT is driven by a simple mission statement to help organizations find, secure, transform and move all the information that matters.
Key aspects of HULFT’s solutions for health care as well as its competitive advantages over other solutions include:
A holistic, consultative approach
HULFT provides a single global platform that allows IT to find, secure, transform and move information at scale. HULFT’s seasoned data logistics consultants uncover hidden pain points, automate tedious manual operations, and streamline data flow worldwide through the entire health care environment of stakeholders.
Streamlined, low-code user interface
HULFT replaces what used to take up to 14,000 lines of code with 13 drag-and-drop icons. This creates a powerful, comprehensive high-speed data integration architecture that is secure and compatible with all major destinations through a simple, clean visual interface (HULFT Integrate.)
A security-first foundation
HULFT provides one of the most widely adopted global next-gen file transfer solutions on the market today. HULFT incorporates the highest levels of encryption technology and modern authentication methods to safeguard mission critical and highly regulated data.
A proven, customer-centric history
For the last 25 years, HULFT has worked with more than 10,000 companies spanning finance, health care and manufacturing sectors across 43 countries. HULFT occupies the second largest global market share and are among the most trusted and widely adopted data logistics solutions on the market today.
Connections to almost any data source (HULFT adapters)
MSFT / Azure
Oracle / OBDC
Among many others with more to come in the future
Health care grade security
Efforts to comply with HIPAA and other regulations result in organizations in the health care environment being ultra-mindful of data security. However, according to the 2018 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey, a startling 75% of survey respondents reported a significant security incident in the previous 12 months.5 Thus, HULFT has incorporated the highest levels of encryption technology and state-of-the-art authentication methods to protect this data.
The HULFT solutions encrypt sensitive health care data when at rest and in transit within applications, networks and processors across all stakeholder enterprises.
HULFT Director closes any security gaps to help health care organizations achieve their desired levels of access control over who sees what information, while easing the burden of managing data flows. The resulting holistic view of just what is happening to this data optimizes efforts to meet governance and compliance regulations.
The simple truth is that highly sensitive patient health information and regulations have traditionally fostered a ‘closed door’ approach to data management, as well as caution in regard to its accessibility. HULFT pries open this door, in a highly secure, reliable and interoperable way. HULFT works closely with customers across the spectrum of health care to establish a back-end data infrastructure that enables front-end advances, and that ultimately translates into better patient outcomes.
Consider the case of a 43-year-old manufacturer of diagnostic equipment and treatment instruments, supplied to medical institutions around the world. The firm was challenged by a need to process XML data and then link it efficiently to its back-end database. While building a workflow system to meet this challenge, the company found it difficult to properly process the XML data and connect to the back-end database. What it needed was an enterprise-grade tool able to handle the complexity of many disparate systems.
The search for such a tool led to HULFT Integrate, which facilitates XML mapping without the need for programming. The result is a highly configurable and intuitive approach to integration that transcends various business data silos, including legacy applications. Benefits to this manufacturer have included improved operational efficiency of the IT department; the replacement of manual data compilation with automatic email delivery; speedier sharing of product quality information for faster decision making; and the ability to shift tasks away from inefficient batch processing.
Regardless of whether the challenge is integrating multiple electronic medical records between providers and hospitals, automating business processes to reduce costs or translating complex data within health care organizations, HULFT has proven itself an effective solution for secure back-end data transfer and integration. As health care organizations seek to improve and optimize their data transformations and sharing— whether internal or as part of a more complex external stakeholder network—HULFT is a proven, trusted provider for such solutions.
- “The future of health analytics: unlocking clinical and business value,” Deloitte, 2015
- “Your medical records could be worth $1,000 to hackers,” Forbes, April 2017
- “IT Priorities 2018: Network upgrades, automation, cloud make the cut,” TechTarget, 2017.
- “The Digital Health Care Leap,” PwC, February 2017
- “2018 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey,” HIMSS, 2018.