ArchCare is an integrated delivery network (IDN) operated by the Archdiocese of New York. The ArchCare care delivery system is comprised of traditional long-term residential care and short-term rehabilitation, nursing home alternatives that enable seniors and others with chronic health needs to continue to live safely and independently, home health services for infants, children and adults, health plans that coordinate all of a member’s healthcare needs and the Medicare and Medicaid benefits for which they are eligible, family-centered end-of-life and palliative care and specialized care for people with exceptional needs.
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cast a spotlight on the improved outcomes and lower costs that could be achieved through collaboration across the care continuum, ArchCare embraced care coordination as the underpinning of its patient-centered delivery model.
ArchCare’s Care Navigators engage patients at the entry point of its continuing care community and guide them to the programs and services they need, ranging from health plans to inpatient care to home care. They also oversee transitions as patients move among care settings inside and outside the IDN.
Because data exchange is critical to ArchCare’s care model, their IT team makes secure and timely access to electronic health information a top priority. ArchCare’s 18-person IT group is responsible for delivering healthcare information to patients, caregivers, clinicians, payers and administrators across its 24 locations.
- Enable information exchange, internally and externally, while ensuring compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
- Accessible and easy to use by a wide variety of end-users including care coordinators, patients, care givers, clinicians and administrators
- Leverage Microsoft Exchange email server and other existing infrastructure
- Extensible to accommodate emerging secure messaging protocols, including Direct Secure Messaging
- Automatically monitor all employees’ email communications containing PHI (Protected Health Information) to ensure security and compliance with HIPAA
- Reduce the risk of false positives
- Be simple to maintain
- Require no recipient software
- Require no user training
- Protect the organization’s reputation and brand
- Ease electronic health information exchange across an integrated delivery network in compliance with federal health information privacy and security requirements
- Maximize workforce productivity by securing Protected Health Information with automated high-accuracy content filtering and encryption services
- Mobilize clinical data exchange with referral partners in accordance with national standards
In 2002, ArchCare deployed DataMotion’s secure mailbox solution, giving selected employees the option to encrypt email messages containing PHI on an as-needed basis. However, with HITECH giving HIPAA regulations more “teeth” (including OCR audits) ArchCare wanted to expand its usage to automatically monitor all of its outbound email for PHI. Even with extensive employee training, policies and procedures for sending PHI, ArchCare worried something would get missed.
Additionally, and with the proliferation of electronic protected health information (ePHI) generated by electronic health records (EHRs), ArchCare required an additional layer of security provided by Direct Secure Messaging (Direct), the national encryption standard for clinical data exchange introduced by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The adoption of Direct by ArchCare’s referral partners as a preferred data exchange method further heightened the need to implement the enhanced encryption capability.
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ArchCare extended its use of DataMotion’s secure email technology to the entire enterprise by adding the secure email content filter to act as a safety net. Additionally, they integrated DataMotion’s registration authority (RA), certificate authority (CA), and health information service provider (HISP) accredited DataMotion Direct service to facilitate direct secure messaging and clinical data exchange with referral healthcare providers & health systems.
The content filter automatically identifies emails that contain PHI and encrypts them. Now, all email content and attachments from 1,600 ArchCare email addresses are automatically scanned for PHI, and encrypted if needed. Employees no longer have to remember to send sensitive health information securely.
Direct connects ArchCare with HISPs and referral partners that exchange clinical data via certified EHR technology. As healthcare reform spawns pay-for-value initiatives and their data-sharing requirements, ArchCare expects that Direct will be an increasingly important option for secure and interoperable health information exchange.
ArchCare’s IT leadership has peace of mind knowing that the secure email content filter ensures messages are protected and compliant with internal policies and external regulations. Direct positions ArchCare to participate in a new era of health information exchange and care coordination driven by healthcare reform. Additionally, IT administrators have had minimal help desk calls.
“Even though you provide users education, training and procedures for sending email with PHI, you worry something will get missed,” said Mitze Amoroso, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, ArchCare. “DataMotion secure email content filtering takes that worry away and by adding Direct Messaging to our existing encryption services we are leveraging our investment in DataMotion, yielding operating economies and cost savings from sourcing multiple services from a single vendor.”
- Greatly reduced risk exposure from email communications
- Increased compliance with HIPAA/HITECH regulations
- Increased user confidence
- Security enforcement can now be measured by tracking all secure and non-secure communications
“Our ability to share data is greatly enhanced and risk exposure is significantly reduced by extending DataMotion secure email technology across our enterprise,” continued Amoroso. “Automated filtering of email messages and files empowers us to identify and encrypt sensitive financial, clinical and other private information.”
“The addition of Direct Secure Messaging to the DataMotion platform positions us to participate with our trading partners in the growing health information exchange being driven by healthcare reform initiatives. DataMotion’s extensible platform has accommodated our needs for encrypted messaging as regulation has evolved from HIPAA to HITECH to the EHR Incentive Program and Direct Messaging. Sourcing our multiple requirements from a single partner has delivered cost and operating efficiencies contributing to enhanced return on investment,” said Mitze Amoroso, vice president and chief information officer, ArchCare.