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Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust: Data Governance

Background

Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust is a busy district general hospital in Suffolk, England. Its 3,500 employees provide a wide range of emergency, medical, surgical, and maternity services to the population of East Suffolk and serves a catchment area of approximately 360,000 people.

 

The Challenge

The hospital has several boards and committees comprised of employees, external members of the public, and volunteer non-executive directors. Before each meeting, board papers would be produced printed and circulated. The added frustration was, often, items would change or be added to the agenda which would mean reprinting and circulating the papers at the last minute. On occasion, due to last minute changes, information would be emailed which was far from ideal due to the sensitive nature of the documents. Another problem to consider was Accident and Emergency Consultants working in this busy department wanted to be able to share and view the work schedule, which often changed at the last minute, while they were away from the hospital. Finally, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust wanted to adhere to the Information Governance Check List while file sharing with third party organisations such as legal firms, insurance companies and other medical professions. Sharing patient documents with third parties previously meant sending printed materials.

 

The Solution

Using Varonis DatAnywhere, Ipswich Hospital created a dedicated environment where confidential information such as board and committee papers and meeting minutes (for example, containing future plans and initiatives under evaluation, that could cause unnecessary upset if disclosed before formalised), can be stored. Occasionally DatAnywhere is also used to share confidential information such as patient files with external third-party organisations, or even large files such as repository logs. Strict control must be maintained over what is published outside of the Hospital; DatAnywhere keeps all data in their existing file services environment, so the information doesn’t actually leave the hospital’s system and Ipswich Hospital’s manageability is kept simple.

The Outcome Improved Productivity and Efficiency

Ipswich Hospital now uses DatAnywhere to circulate confidential board materials to its non-executive directors, whom have all responded positively to the solution. They can access prepared documents instantly, which can be updated right up to the start of, and viewed throughout their meetings. DatAnywhere his dramatically reduced the cost of printed materials, and improved productivity for both the admin team responsible for preparing papers but also the board members who can view materials when convenient to them. Via DatAnywhere, the remote emergency team can now access and change a central work schedule that encompasses every shift for the whole department. Karl Kroger: “Our emergency doctors, who can sometimes be less accessible simply because they are just so busy and work shifts, have been able to get up and running with minimal interaction from IT. Feedback about DatAnywhere has been that it’s intuitive − there have been no issues of anyone not understanding what is required.”

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