IT Simplification to Improve the Healthcare Computing Environment

Increasingly sophisticated malware attacks can leave healthcare providers in a vulnerable position as they confront the critical need to improve security while also keeping IT costs under control. Concord Hospital has worked hard to cultivate a reputation for clinical and patient service excellence.

As an example of its progressive approach to automating health service delivery, Hospitals & Health Networks magazine has named Concord one of the United States’ “Most Wired Hospitals” for several consecutive years. In order to maintain this level of operational excellence, Concord Hospital needed a solution to save time and resources while also improving results for software licensing, patch management, asset inventory and security configuration.

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  • VENDOR
  • CUSTOMER
  • Hospitals

  • SOLUTION
  • IBM® BigFix® provides endpoint security, asset discovery, software licensing management and anti-virus client management for more than 3,800 systems throughout the Concord Hospital and Capital Region Health Care organization. Thanks to the software’s unified management architecture, the IT staff spends less time with tedious administrative tasks and more time delivering world-class customer service to their end users. In fact, Concord IT staff report patch and update actions that used to require weeks to execute now transact in as little as 15 minutes, with complete visibility into progress and status. Overall patch compliance figures have gone from 40-60 percent to about 93 percent.

    In addition to using BigFix to drive an active patch and update program, the Hospital has deployed the software to see and control its third party anti-virus software from the same console it uses for patch and update processes, asset inventory and discovery, and security configuration status reporting. Thanks to this level of visibility and control, neither Concord Hospital’s operations nor its security integrity have been compromised since installing the solution in 2004. This is a dramatic improvement compared to the Hospital’s infection rate prior to 2004.

    Additional uses of BigFix have also paid dividends at Concord Hospital. The Hospital is starting to use the software to monitor and manage software license usage and has realized up to 25 percent savings in software licensing costs by identifying and removing under-utilized software.

    The Hospital also has expanded automated patch management to cover widely used applications such as Adobe document management products, Apple QuickTime, and Microsoft Office software. The IT staff uses IBM Fixlet® messages to perform customized tasks such as managing third-party anti-virus client definition files and making adjustments to DNS server settings.

    Finally, the software’s asset inventory and reporting capabilities are helping the Hospital meet data security and privacy standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other legislation. Security controls on critical servers and workstations that manage electronic patient health information (ePHI) can now be implemented and validated, helping confirm that computers interacting with clinical systems meet HIPAA requirements for security, integrity and reliability.

  • DATA COLLECTED
  • OPERATIONAL IMPACT
  • Impact #1

    Centralized administration to assist comprehensive automation

    Impact #2

    Real-time visibility into remediation processes that adds to the flexability to solve additional IT challenges in the future

    Impact #3

    Improving service and compliance to reduce costs

  • QUANTITATIVE BENEFIT
  • Benefit #1

    Concord IT staff report patch and update actions that used to require weeks to execute now transact in as little as 15 minutes,  with complete visibility into progress and status. 

    Benefit #2

    Overall patch compliance figures have gone from 40-60 percent to about 93 percent.

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