Enabling HIPAA-compliant file sharing in real time with Citrix ShareFile

Founded in 1855, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is the nation's first hospital devoted exclusively to the care of children. The birthplace for many dramatic firsts in pediatric medicine, the hospital has fostered medical discoveries and innovations that have saved countless children’s lives.

The Challenge: Provide a HIPAA-compliant alternative to unsecure file sharing services

With 18,000 employees in 60 locations, CHOP needed a simple, secure way for its healthcare providers and administrators to share patient records, images, business information and other data. CHOP wanted their employees to stay away from personal file sharing services like Dropbox, Box and OneDrive, an approach with the potential for security breaches and data leakage. The ideal file sync and sharing solution would be fully secure and HIPAA-compliant while making it easy for users to collaborate and share files both internally and externally. Ultimately, the organization aimed to go completely paperless by digitizing onboarding and patient screening, a move that would reduce paper costs and increase process efficiency.

The Solution: Enable secure file sync and sharing with Citrix ShareFile

CHOP already had a close relationship with Citrix as a highly preferred vendor and relied on Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp for virtual app and desktop delivery, and Citrix NetScaler to optimize application delivery, performance and security. Learning that the Citrix ShareFile enterprise file sync and sharing solution had been certified under the Sword & Shield HIPAA Compliance Program (HCP) made the hospital’s decision a simple one. CHOP now makes ShareFile available through its enterprise app store as a service enabling users to share and store all types of data, from clinical files such as patient data images to the Microsoft Excel spreadsheets used by business personnel. ShareFile Connectors allow users to access, edit and share documents in SharePoint even from outside the hospital network. “ShareFile allows us to be accessible through desktop sync, web client and mobile. The final decision point was the ability to use 100 percent on-premises storage,” says Sean Kilmer, manager, platform engineering for CHOP.

Key Benefits

Maintain security, compliance and patient privacy

With ShareFile, the staff of CHOP can share files across the organization and with external partners while maintaining full security, protecting patient privacy and supporting HIPAA compliance. The value of the solution’s security and ability to share files quickly and easily was made clear during a recent visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia. “Our executive leadership used ShareFile during the Pope’s visit to closely collaborate, making sure everyone had the latest updates on what was happening in the city. It was very successful,” says Kilmer.

Give employees a better-than-consumer user experience

Employees have embraced ShareFile as a secure, sanctioned service that’s just as easy to use as the consumer services it replaced. Users can collaborate more easily with doctors and others inside and outside the organization, and can access their data—even on shared drives—from home or any other location. Key use cases include telemedicine, in which users share real-time and archival patient data to support consulting services to external partners and clinicians. Paperless patient screening and onboarding via ShareFile has reduced costs to one-fourth of the paper-based process it replaced.
Research and development teams collaborate and share content within ShareFile, as do managers and engineers overseeing CHOP’s $2 billion in facilities currently operational or under construction.

Support evolving mobile and paperless initiatives

CHOP is using ShareFile to go far beyond the basic capabilities of the consumer-grade services it replaced. The hospital plans to implement a check-in/check-out feature to prevent version confusion, as well as a drive mapping feature that will let users interact with their ShareFile files and folders the same way they would with files or folders on their hard drive. Integrated document authorization signing with RightSignature will expand the paperless use cases the solution can support, helping CHOP further reduce cost and increase process efficiency.

Looking Ahead

“Citrix is a huge part of CHOP’s current strategy in IT and part of our framework moving forward, as Citrix offers the “best of breed” solutions in the tech space,” says Kilmer. “We’re looking forward to continuing that relationship and building on that foundation in the future.” CHOP is also very interested in ShareFile’s integration with data loss prevention (DLP) systems and plans to evaluate possible implementation to classify ShareFile documents based on their content and enforce sharing restrictions based on data categories.

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in mobile workspaces, providing virtualization, mobility management, networking and cloud services to enable new ways to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, personal workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.

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ShareFile allows us to be accessible through desktop sync, web client and mobile. The final decision point was the ability to use 100 percent on-premises storage.
- Sean Kilmer

Manager, Platform Engineering

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


Key Benefits

  • Maintain security, compliance and patient privacy
  • Give employees a better-than-consumer user experience
  • Support evolving mobile and paperless initiatives

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