Download PDF

Indiana University Health Improves Patient Information Sharing Between Doctors To Speed Diagnoses and Improve Patient Care



Indiana University Health is Indiana’s most comprehensive healthcare system and is one of only 38 hospitals in the U.S. to be ranked in eight or more specialties by U.S. News & World Report. Comprised of hospitals, physicians, and allied services, IU Health offers a full range of specialty and primary innovative treatments, therapies, and other care services for children and adults. IU Health employs 28,100 employees, including 2,800 doctors, nurses, and other medical staff.

Building Telemedicine To Provide Better Care

Within the IU Health partner network, a growing telemedicine program links medical practitioners to facilities so patients in one part of the state can receive top-notch care from a provider located sometimes hundreds of miles away. “Some of our patients would need to drive for hours one-way to reach a medical expert,” says Jennifer Baron, director of IU Health’s telemedicine program. “Now they can stay in their own community and not burn a day off from work.”

IU Health’s telemedicine program gives caregivers the ability to collect and transfer critical medical data, images, and live audio and video transmissions. This allows doctors in distant locations to view and interpret the information and determine the appropriate care. As a result, scarce resources can be shared and optimized among numerous facilities, improving patient care dramatically.

Much of IU Health’s content is generated by PC-based clinical equipment that collects vast amounts of data in large files. For example, sleep studies and EEG results, which easily reach 50 MB or larger in size, can be read by another system miles away that is running the same software.

“Some of our studies involve lots of documents in many forms. Kiteworks lets the doctor wrap it all up into one folder and send it. It’s one easy process.”

– David Boyer, Video Architect, Indiana University Health

One challenge for IU Health was finding a way to efficiently and securely transmit these large files, since consulting physicians may be on separate computer networks. In the past, medical staff would copy the data to CD-ROMs and ship them overnight via a courier service. But this solution does not work well in a medical environment where time is extremely precious.

Seeking a Viable Solution for Large Files

David Boyer, the video architect responsible for all videoconferencing and telemedicine for IU Health, was charged with finding a better alternative for transmitting these large, critical files. The solution IU Health chose must have:

  • The highest level of file security to protect patients’ privacy and comply with HIPAA regulations
  • The ability to bundle numerous files into a single folder to keep related patient files together
  • An intuitive, easy-to-use email-like interface that would make collaboration easy for clinicians and not require IT support

Case Study

Indiana University Health

Kiteworks presented Boyer with a solution that matched all his criteria. Not only does Kiteworks provide a way to securely share files, it has a web user interface, an email plugin for Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, an IT administrator dashboard, and business process automation agents to automatically scan and deliver files.

Kiteworks accommodated Boyer’s ease-of-use requirement with an email-like interface through which doctors address messages directly to other doctors or staff. These caregivers can also attach any number of files or folders with no file size constraints to accommodate the large file sizes typical of many medical records and images.

Achieving Quick Results

After a short in-house test, IU Health installed Kiteworks on-premises, and made it available to the primary locations in the telemedicine program. “It’s providing quite a bit of value to us,” Boyer says. The Kiteworks platform allows IU staff to share critical patient information in real time to the doctors who need to evaluate the data and make a proper diagnosis.

“Some of our studies involve lots of documents in many forms. Kiteworks lets the doctor wrap it all up into one folder and send it,” Boyer explains. “The doctor on the other end can go to the highest level of a folder, maybe a patient study, and then drill down to the other folders. It’s one easy process.” In addition, because doctors have all the necessary data in one place, and are able to send and receive it in real time, they significantly speed the diagnostic process.

“What used to be done in two weeks can now be done in two hours,” Baron asserts. “Test results can be done the same day.” She and IU Health see Kiteworks as an investment managing scarce resources more effectively and ultimately improving patient care.

Needs

  • Provide in-network doctors across Indiana a secure, easy-to-use system for sending large, critical medical files
  • Enable real-time file transfer capabilities to speed diagnosis and dramatically improve patient care

Kiteworks Solution

  • Kiteworks secure file sharing for sending, receiving, and collaborating on lab tests, X-rays, patient files, and other sensitive PHI critical to patient care

Business Impact

  • Diagnoses reduced from days or weeks to hours
  • Efficient and easy-to-use solution streamlines workflows for medical staff, saving valuable time

“What used to be done in two weeks can now be done in two hours. Test results can be done the same day.”

– Jennifer Baron, Director, Telemedicine Program, Indiana University Health

www.kiteworks.com

December 2021