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Epic and Workspace ONE Come Together to Secure Patient Data

Mobile technologies have dramatically changed the operational efficiency and quality of patient care provided by clinical staff at hospitals all over the world. Now, healthcare providers are turning their attention to how these technologies can improve the patient experience. With Workspace ONE and Epic, mobile experiences are more secure for patients and more automated for clinicians, with zero additional cost or overhead for IT.

patient experience

What is the need?

Many pioneers of patient experience have already deployed iPads and other mobile devices in their hospitals for patients to use during their stay. These devices give patients access to critical information such as medical records, their current care plan, and even meal selection in apps like Epic’s MyChart Bedside.

However, these devices can go one step further by providing a modern and familiar experience for communication and entertainment. Whether it’s chatting with friends on WhatsApp, dancing to victory in Fortnite, or streaming the latest episode of Netflix’s Stranger Things, access to Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store lets patients tailor their mobile experience.

What are the challenges?

With this degree of freedom surrounding the patient experience, users are likely to add sensitive and private data to these devices. Organizations must remove this data the instant the patient leaves the hospital. Any time a device is left unattended is a chance for a malicious actor to gain access to the data. This risk introduces two significant technical problems that must be solved in order to offer a truly secure experience for patients.

  1. How do hospitals thoroughly remove all patient data from a device without disrupting the day-to-day operations of nurses and staff?
  2. How do we ensure patient data removal is as close to the patient’s real-time exit or discharge from the hospital as possible?

Where do current solutions fall short?

Current market solutions typically solve one of the two problems listed and add unwanted complexity and rigidity to mobile deployments. The most common form of these solutions is middle-man listeners. Middle-man listeners are automated but require complex integrations to function, including a middle-man server that ingests a hospital’s EMR activity feed and “listens” for patient discharge messages. Once the listener identifies a discharge, it calls an API of the device’s EMM provider to wipe a device. However, since the EMM provider does not know the patient’s information, the listener must rely on a pre-configured value, often a room number, to know which device to wipe. This limits portability because it can’t allow for things like room transfers or inadvertent device relocation, resulting in a rigid, constricted solution. In addition, beyond standing up a new server, IT also has to manually pre-configure new and moving devices.

What is Epic + Workspace ONE’s solution?

As of Epic’s 2019 August release, Workspace ONE now integrates directly with Epic’s systems and MyChart Bedside app to perform over-the-air device wipes for patient devices. Hospitals do not need to send their EMR activity containing patient data to a middle-man server to initiate a device wipe. The integration of Epic and Workspace ONE lets Epic systems directly call Workspace ONE APIs to wipe a patient’s mobile device immediately after a patient has been discharged or transferred.

This solution also makes it easy to identify which device to wipe since Epic securely stores all patient data alongside the device identifiers. Users can move freely about the hospital with the same device because there’s no need to pre-configure devices with a room number or other identifier. With this powerful improvement, patients can enjoy mobile devices during their stay with the assurance that upon discharge, the system will remove all their sensitive data.

To take this one step further, Workspace ONE and Epic customers can deploy tethered solutions to automate the re-configuring of mobile devices for the next patient that is admitted. These solutions are extremely reliable and offer the unique advantage of restoring the device fully back to the home screen with cached apps installed.

Epic’s innovation is a significant step in providing a world-class patient experience. By leveraging the industries greatest mobile technologies and solutions from healthcare leaders like Epic, Workspace ONE empowers healthcare providers to inform, entertain and protect patients on their journey back to health.

For more information, please reach out to your Epic or Workspace ONE representative.

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Epic and MyChart are trademarks of Epic Systems Corporation.