Implementing Tresorit’s secure cloud storage system for storing patient records
Flying can lift people up in every sense of the word. Just in the past year, Wings of Hope, a St. Louis-based aviation nonprofit, has flown over 200 patients, many of them children, to transformative medical care through its Medical Relief & Air Transport (MAT) Program in the US, for completely free of charge. The charity was founded over 55 years ago by four business leaders with a simple but all the more important mission: to change and save lives through the power of aviation. Since then, the organization has grown from one plane delivering supplies to a drought-stricken region in northwest Kenya to operating a fully-fledged medical air transport service flying individuals to specialized medical care within 29 American states as well as completing 150+ humanitarian projects in 47 countries across the globe. Today, Wings of Hope works in 10 countries worldwide – using its wings to connect people to lifesaving health-care resources. This long and distinguished record of humanitarian service has earned the charity two Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
“The numbers are impressive, but the true impact is in each individual life changed for the better,” Mark Cutler, IT Support Volunteer, points out. Take, for example, 6-year-old Elizabeth. Born premature and with cerebral palsy, Elizabeth could not walk for her first five years. After 20 Wings of Hope flights between her home in rural Kansas and St. Louis Shriners Hospital for two major surgeries and the ensuing post-op treatment, Elizabeth is now walking with a walker and is on her way to taking her first steps on her own. Then there is Owen. Wings of Hope started flying him to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for non-surgical treatment of clubfoot just weeks after he was born. Thirty months and as many flights later, Owen is making great progress and is now hitting all his developmental milestones.
HIPAA Compliance and security: from paper to the cloud
Running a medical transport system means that the organization has to go over sensitive medical records and comply with strict regulations when storing and sharing such data. “We have to ascertain that we can serve our patients safely and effectively. That’s why each potential patient must submit their medical information to our medical staff for review. This information is subject to HIPAA compliance rules and must be stored securely,” explains Mark. Organizations that handle protected health information (PHI) must have the physical, network, and process security measures in place to safeguard it.
For years, the charity had been using a paper- and faxed-based system, which wasn’t totally foolproof. They knew it was time to look for a better solution that enables remote, secure storage of their patients’ confidential information. “In this way, the very private medical information never resides at our site – even temporarily,” Mark says. And that’s where Tresorit came into the picture.
The solution we have put together with Tresorit — and a secure online fax service — has significantly improved our handling of sensitive medical information. We can be comfortable that the information is stored securely and is also safe during its transit to Tresorit.
Sensitive information in safe hands
Tresorit’s secure cloud solution provided Wings of Hope with the secure place the charity needed to store and archive protected health information. Sharing information among its medical staff who are authorized to access a patient’s medical records has become easier and safer too, as an extra layer of protection can be added by setting up a password and an expiry date for documents, and restricting the number of downloads possible.
Tresorit’s zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption also means that all data is automatically encrypted before it leaves a device. In other words, it cannot be accessed by anyone, including system administrators and the service provider itself.
Interested in learning more about HIPAA compliance and the cloud? Check out the following material:
Wings of Hope changes and saves lives through the power of aviation. In the U.S., the nonprofit provides free medical air transport services to individuals who need access to specialized medical care. The organization also works with in-country partners in nine countries outside of the U.S., supporting medevac services and fly-in medical clinics.
Archiving and storing a large amount of highly confidential medical information
Sharing information securely with authorized medical staff
Complying with strict Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements
Switching from a paper-based system to the cloud
Secure storage in the cloud, ensuring that no one, not even the service provider can see strictly confidential patient data
Total control over who has access to medical records, to what degree and for how long
Automatic, zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption
Easy implementation and user-friendly design
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