The Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) is bringing efficiency and innovation to the healthcare industry. The group is made up of emergency physicians and advanced-practice clinicians who staff emergency rooms throughout Minnesota. The EPPA also operates an independent facility called The Urgency Room that provides services that are more advanced than critical care at a lower cost than a traditional emergency room.
In a recent webinar, the EPPA's IT Manager James Galicia, who heads a team of three that relies heavily on managed services while still being tasked with everything from end-user support to clinical-device troubleshooting, discussed the healthcare industry's security challenges and the EPPA's particular needs. With so many different hats to wear and projects to juggle among limited resources, implementing the most efficient and effective cybersecurity plan possible that also integrated with Office 365 was a priority for them.
The Complex Layers of Healthcare Protection
The vast majority of information shared by physicians, nurses, and healthcare administrators contains sensitive information. Given the collaborative nature of healthcare, information is also consistently passing through multiple channels. If data is not secured properly, these practices put healthcare organizations at serious risk of a data breach, so all of them must follow the strict mandates of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The EPPA knew that they needed to find a security solution capable of securing medical and financial data while also meeting the HIPAA requirements. They also wanted a solution that integrated well with Office 365 and enhanced its capabilities, and one solution was uniquely positioned to meet the EPPA's immediate and ongoing cybersecurity demands.
Securing Medical Records with Email Encryption
The first and foremost goal was to ensure that outbound emails were properly secured, knowing that their frequency and their propensity to contain protected health information presented a prime target for hackers. Policy-based email encryption with ZixEncrypt is an easy and automatic way to safeguard these communications as they leave the network and travel the internet to recipients.
The EPPA chose to rely on Zix, because it has a strong reputation for assisting healthcare organizations with HIPAA compliance for email and its solution is effortless for users to encrypt and decrypt sensitive messages. Zix email encryption is also easy to implement and manage, and its seamless integration with Office 365 allows the EPPA's IT team to continue to fulfill their many obligations without adding to their workload.
Protecting the Inbox from Growing Threats
While email encryption is a crucial component, the IT team at the EPPA identified a growing amount of spam and threats hitting inboxes. Office 365 included native tools to deflect those emails, but the threat of phishing and ransomware attacks were on the rise.
They chose to incorporate ZixProtect for advanced threat protection to better defend against the growing body of cyberthreats. Like all of the solutions in the lineup, Zix threat protection is easy to implement, easy to manage, and also integrates easily with Office 365, a continuing priority for their IT team.
The EPPA now has a full email security solution in place that scrutinizes everything entering an inbox and safeguards everything exiting it. Now that the exchange of information is not a liability these healthcare pioneers can communicate and collaborate without reservation.
All organizations — even those not affiliated with the healthcare industry — can benefit from taking a similar approach to email security. Zix offers you the resources to manage today's digital volatility. Because the truth is that many companies share a lot of similarities with the EPPA: They communicate sensitive information, have limited IT resources, and are under attack from hackers with more motivation than ever.
For a deeper dive into this topic, watch the archived webinar How Does Emergency Physicians Association Protect Their Office 365 Email?