Satellite Healthcare (Mountain View, CA), a provider of dialysis treatments outside hospital settings, has been in growth mode. It has expanded its business to include laboratory services and research and now has more than 125 offices across the United States. With the expansion, the healthcare provider felt the pain of communicating with remote locations as well as the pressure to keep patient information confidential and secure. Although the Internet provides a way that Satellite can share information quickly and cost-effectively, it has become increasingly vulnerable to unauthorized users.
Firewall Keeps Provider In Compliance
To ensure secure communications, Satellite Healthcare worked with SonicWALL Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA), a developer of Internet security appliances, and VAR RSpeed, Inc. (Pleasanton, CA) to prevent outside security breaches. By implementing the system, Satellite Healthcare also is able to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which establishes national standards for electronic healthcare transactions and patient privacy. The heart of the system is SonicWALL's VPN (virtual private network) system that provides firewall protection at multiple sites. Satellite Healthcare also is using SonicWALL's Global Management System (GMS) software to manage all Internet security devices from one central location. GMS includes a graphical reporting tool that helps Satellite Healthcare meet HIPAA's auditing requirements.
"SonicWALL's reporting tool will help us convert log data about firewall attacks, bandwidth usage, and user activity into meaningful reports," says Mike O'Shea, IT manager at Satellite Healthcare. "If we are audited, we can create profiles that illustrate our company's efforts to comply with HIPAA."
RSpeed first deployed the firewall system in Satellite Healthcare's laboratories and has since expanded it to the dialysis centers. The company has installed the security appliances at more than 125 remote locations and home offices. With the addition of GMS and auditing capabilities, Satellite has created a security infrastructure that facilitates inter-company communication, while meeting the security and privacy requirements of HIPAA. "With SonicWALL, we can take advantage of a VPN to improve communication and productivity," O'Shea says.