Exchanging personal patient data securely and conveniently

The Hannover Medical School (MHH) was founded in 1965 and today employs around 10,000 people. Whether in research, healthcare or teaching with its concept of targeted focus funding the MHH has secured one of the top positions in the highest group of German university medical institutions and is one of the most efficient medical universities in Germany.

The Central Clinic, Children‘s Hospital, Gynaecological Clinic, Transplantation Research Centre, research and teaching buildings, a library, and residential and administrative buildings are all located on the 400,000 m² campus in Hanover. MHH‘s research focuses on infection and immunity, transplantation and regeneration, biomedical technology and implants.

Wanted: Solution to send personal data securely

The Centre for Information Management (ZIMt) is the central IT service provider of the Hannover Medical School (MHH). ZIMt supports the university by selecting, designing, providing and further developing IT applications in the areas of research, teaching, hospitals and administration. In addition, ZIMt offers basic IT services such as e-mail, Internet access or archiving solutions. In 2015, it was commissioned by the Presidium to find a solution with which MHH can send personal data securely ZIMt employees were looking for a software solution that would be used in research and teaching, in the hospital business and in the administration of the medical school and thus had to meet the needs of different users and applications

At the Hannover Medical School Cryptshare is used

In research and teaching:

  • sending and receiving research results in international projects

In hospital business:

  • exchange of patient data and large files such as X-ray images with medical practices and pre- and post-treatment institutions

In administration:

  • among other things for transfer of application documents

Found and integrated: Cryptshare

Before their research, the ZIMt employees agreed to find a software solution to make the burning of data on CDs and DVDs redundant. Sending these data carriers by post was timeconsuming and expensive. The use of e-mails with encrypted zip files should soon also be a thing of the past, as their transmission regularly failed due to size restrictions imposed by external e-mail clients. Finally, the administration effort for the SFTP server used for data exchange was targeted to be significantly reduced. 

ZIMt employees learned about Cryptshare from the IT managers of a German university hospital. They then after a detailed investigation of the market found that Cryptshare best met their requirements to send personal data securely. The solution is a simple alternative to solutions like PGP and S/MIME with the added advantages of removing file size limits and providing an audit trail. With PGP and S/MIME, the sender and receiver must exchange and install keys or certificates. This is complicated and time-consuming for both admins and users. Cryptshare works more easily. The users must authenticate themselves to the system once (with name, telephone number and e-mail address) and can then immediately transmit and receive encrypted data.

The decisive factor in the decision for Cryptshare was that the solution is available to users as both a web application and integrated in Microsoft Outlook. This enables them to send and receive data securely from their familiar work environment or on the go. Because Cryptshare is simple and intuitive to use, employees quickly accepted the solution and use it extensively to exchange all manner of personal data.

Accepted and proven in all three areas of MHH

Research and teaching staff use Cryptshare to send research results to international colleagues and cooperation partners and return their results just as securely and in an uncomplicated way. In hospital operations, the physicians and nursing staff send the patients‘ data to other medical institutions and medical practices. The personal data is considered particularly sensitive and can therefore only be transferred in encrypted form. Files such as X-rays can easily be transferred to the post-operative clinics or the medical service providers. In the administrative area, colleagues at MHH use Cryptshare, among other things, to send and receive application documents.

With Cryptshare, MHH is using a solution with which not only personal data can be protected, but also large files can be easily exchanged internally and externally. Both the IT service provider and the employees of MHH are convinced in the effectiveness of the solution. Low maintenance requirements, compliance guidelines and intuitive handling make Cryptshare indispensable for the Hannover Medical School in its digital communication.

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