Siemens Leads Healthcare Industry in Protecting Privacy of Medical Information
Principal Technology Provider Makes Available Industry-wide Secure Messaging
Malvern, PA – July 2, 2003 – Siemens Medical Solutions today announced a secure messaging initiative that enables a new standard in security, privacy and confidentiality of medical information. These solutions are at once affordable, easily accessible and immediately available to healthcare providers.
As the premier provider of innovative medical technology and healthcare information technology, Siemens is leading the healthcare industry in securing electronic information. A comprehensive set of integrated secure messaging products based on industry-leading Sigaba technology enables complete protection of patient-identifiable information — including data sent via e-mail, electronic statements, and instant messaging — while enabling organizations to meet or exceed privacy standards set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
“Confidential patient information can easily be accessed and viewed over open networks, and for this reason, many healthcare providers have not taken advantage of electronic communications,” explained Jon Zimmerman, vice president of e.Health for Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services Corporation. “In most industries, people can’t imagine being productive in their jobs without the ease and convenience of e-mail.”
“By utilizing secure messaging solutions from Sigaba, Siemens enables hospitals and physician practices to experience the same speed and efficiency as everyone else by sending secure electronic communications to patients, partners, and insurance providers over the same open networks,” continued Zimmerman. “Any type of document — including medical records, laboratory or radiology results, patient statements, etc. — can be safely and quickly delivered to any recipient via encrypted e-mail. Hospital administrators, physicians, and especially patients can enjoy peace of mind knowing that sensitive information will be accessible by authorized personnel, while being kept confidential to all others.”
Siemens is also announcing the first roll-out of these solutions at Omaha, Neb.-based Alegent Health — recently named one of the most wired and technically savvy health networks in the U.S. by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine. Early results at Alegent Health demonstrate how healthcare organizations can quickly leverage electronic communications with the highest level of security assurance, while significantly increasing productivity and reducing costs.
Terry Brown, information technology director at Alegent Health, said, “Protecting our patient information is something we take very seriously, and this means using the strongest secure messaging solution possible. Siemens and Sigaba will help us ensure the integrity of our provider-patient correspondence, while complying with HIPAA. By enabling easy, effective, and streamlined communications and access to patient information, we can also operate more efficiently and reduce expenses.”
With the HIPAA privacy regulations becoming effective in April 2003 and the final security regulations released in February, healthcare providers are becoming increasingly sensitive about moving unencrypted health information over open networks. They are now actively looking for affordable and effective solutions to meet this critical security need.
By remotely deploying secure messaging via Siemens’ application service provider (ASP) technology, healthcare organizations have a cost-effective way to quickly implement a solution with minimal impact on existing e-mail infrastructure and investment. The solutions integrate seamlessly into existing security infrastructures and include features such as the ability to reclaim an e-mail that has already been sent in order to edit or shred it. Content filtering, anti-virus and spam filtering capabilities can also be added without affecting network performance.
“Think about the impact that high speed Internet has made in our ability to access e-mail from home,” said Tanya Candia, vice president and chief strategist, Sigaba. “Siemens and Sigaba are leading the same transformation in healthcare, providing the ability to electronically share patient information, which can lead to faster clinical decisions and better care.”
Siemens Medical Solutions of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) with headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania and Erlangen, Germany, is one of the largest suppliers to the healthcare industry in the world. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. From imaging systems for diagnosis, to therapy equipment for treatment, to patient monitors to hearing instruments and beyond, Siemens innovations contribute to the health and well-being of people across the globe, while improving operational efficiencies and optimizing workflow in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, and doctors’ offices. Employing approximately 31,000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.6 billion EUR, orders of 8.4 billion EUR and group profit of 1 billion EUR for fiscal 2002. More information can be obtained by visiting www.siemensmedical.com.
Secure Data in Motion Inc., dba Sigaba, is the leading provider of secure message management solutions, including email, instant messaging and document delivery, for the enterprise market. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, the company was recently named by SC Magazine and CIO Magazine as the “Company to Watch.” Sigaba Secure Email, Sigaba Secure Statements and Sigaba Secure Instant Messaging are the most flexible, easy-to-use solutions for securing all corporate, financial services, healthcare and government communications over the Internet and wireless networks. The company’s Liberty-enabled and SAML-compliant standards-based solutions support next generation messaging; secure messages can be sent to virtually anyone, anywhere, without requiring users to download special software. Sigaba (s??-g??-b??) takes its name from the SIGABA encryption machine, used by the U.S. during and after World War II. It was the only device of its kind that was never compromised by the enemy. Additional information about Sigaba can be found at http://www.sigaba.com or by calling 1-800-475-8226.