CELEBRATING 20 YEARS

CHRISTUS HEALTH
CASE STUDY

Christus Healthcare

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CUSTOMER:
CHRISTUS HEALTH

COVIANT PRODUCT:
DIPLOMAT MFT ENTERPRISE EDITION

CHRISTUS Health centralizes Managed File Transfer

KEY REQUIREMENTS:

Cost-effective, high availability managed file transfer solution

Interoperability with FTP, SFTP(SSH), FTPS(SSL/TLS), OpenPGP encryption, SMTP, and other standards-based solutions

Compliance with HIPAA and other mandates

Scalability required by a large and growing healthcare provider

Christus Healthcare

BENEFITS:

Centralizes control of secure file transfers and reduce custom scripting

Improves productivity by decreasing file transfer problems and improving problem resolution

Meets diverse technical requirements of a range of trading partners

Close vendor relationship for excellent operational support and new product features

Captures all relevant data for compliance with internal/external and its and industry mandates

Background

CHRISTUS Health, an international Catholic faith-based, not-for-profit health system, was formed in 1999 when the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word from San Antonio and Houston combined their healthcare ministries. Today, CHRISTUS encompasses more than 350 healthcare ministries, including over 50 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 175 clinics and outpatient centers, as well as dozens of other healthcare ventures. CHRISTUS is ranked among the top ten Catholic health systems. Their facilities are located in more than 60 cities throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Missouri, Georgia, and Mexico.

CHRISTUS Health provides healthcare for those in need and invests in programs and collaborations to improve the overall health of their patient communities. CHRISTUS Health is the #1 Catholic healthcare system in the United States based on the amount of charity care and community benefits they deliver.

The Challenge

The CHRISTUS Health information management group began looking for a managed file transfer solution to meet their Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements. CHRISTUS Health was transmitting fewer than 400 files a week, but they knew that number would grow as their organization expanded with more facilities, staff, and clients. At the time, the Enterprise Services Group was using a task processor that required the development of custom scripts for each file transfer job. This approach was not only labor-intensive; it was difficult for support personnel to troubleshoot when errors occurred.

CHRISTUS Health needed a solution that would effortlessly scale as the volume and types of secure file transfers increased and would automate problem escalation to their Network Operations Center. And they needed detailed documentation of file transfers for internal and external audits.

The original evaluation team was comprised of project managers, technical leads, and application analysts, including Diane Stephens from Enterprise Services. Stephens explained that the CHRISTUS Health team explored three products in depth. One product was not robust enough and another had all the “bells and whistles,” but was cost prohibitive. The last product CHRISTUS Health evaluated was Coviant Software’s Diplomat MFT Enterprise Edition. They found that Diplomat MFT was a cost-effective solution with both secure FTP protocols – SFTP(SSH) and FTPS(SSL/TLS). Plus, it captured the necessary audit trail for internal and external audits and easily integrated with their existing infrastructure. After a thorough analysis, the team recommended Diplomat MFT Enterprise Edition.

Coviant Software listens to its customers and strives to exceed expectations. Diplomat MFT Enterprise Edition gets better and better with each new release.

Senior Enterprise Application Analyst

Diane Stephens

Healthcare CTO

The Solution

As predicted, CHRISTUS Health’s file transfer volume more than doubled as the organization grew. Diplomat MFT is an integral part of CHRISTUS Health’s IT infrastructure and has become the enterprise standard for managed file transfer. The Enterprise Services Group uses Diplomat MFT to schedule secure file transfers throughout CHRISTUS Health’s geographically dispersed healthcare system from a central console. They set up all secure scheduled transfers for the entire healthcare system — from patient records to payroll. Because managed file transfer is a critical business process, CHRISTUS Health has built redundancy into their computing environment. They have two data centers with identical implementations of Diplomat MFT. In the event their primary data center is offline, their backup data center can be configured to take over file transfers with minimal interruption. Troubleshooting by support personnel was a constant problem with CHRISTUS Health’s homegrown file transfer solution. Once the Enterprise Services Group automated secure file transfers with Diplomat MFT, they were confident that appropriate network operations personnel would be notified if a problem occurred. Stephens explained Diplomat enables support personnel to respond quickly to file transfer problems without specialized knowledge of the technical details of encryption and file transfer technologies. With Diplomat MFT, the total number of alerts sent to the Network Operations Center (NOC) decreased, and the number of false positives was reduced. As a result, the NOC is more productive, because support personnel time is used much more effectively.

The Diplomat MFT implementation has evolved over time. Initially, CHRISTUS Health used Diplomat MFT’s pre- or post-processing capabilities to perform complicated file renaming with external scripts. Coviant Software worked with CHRISTUS Health to understand their business process and added new product features that have eliminated the need for the external file renaming scripts. Stephens noted another “big win” is Diplomat MFT’s ability to sense when a file is locked by another application. When a Diplomat MFT file transfer job searches for files, it ignores files that are still being created. Since CHRISTUS Health has set most Diplomat MFT jobs to check for files every 15 minutes, partial files are ignored and completed files are transferred on a timely basis. HIPAA mandates all sensitive data transferred outside the organization’s firewall be encrypted. Diplomat MFT supports a range of technologies and CHRISTUS Health uses a combination of OpenPGP, SFTP and FTPS to protect files. When setting up a new file transfer job using Diplomat, CHRISTUS Health knows it can handle requests by a trading partner for specific security standards. Stephens speaks highly of Coviant Software’s support team and product release strategy. CHRISTUS Health has found with each new version, Diplomat MFT gets better and better. The Enterprise Services Group knows Coviant Software listens to its customers and strives to exceed expectations. Diplomat MFT Enterprise Edition is meeting all their managed file transfer requirements for encryption, event notification, and audit capability. CHRISTUS Health is confident they are meeting HIPAA.

Diplomat MFT Enterprise Edition is our corporate standard for managed file transfer. Diplomat’s central console lets us control all secure inbound and outbound file transfers from one location.

Mark Luquire, Identity and Access Management Manager

CHRISTUS Health

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