Remote access in healthcare
Modern society demands an increased working flexibility, featuring various topics like work and family life balance, decentralization of hospital facilities or compensating the shortage of skilled workers by extending the range of operations. The challenge for IT is to implement an external access to central IT systems and specialized applications while observing tight budgets and highest requirements of data protection and data security, whereby requirements vary depending on their application field.
Typical application scenarios in healthcare
Remote access for hospitals
The increased workload of physicians and nursing staff as well as high cost pressure require a more flexible work. Medical personnel therefore need, among other things, a remote access to hospital information systems (HIS), radiology information systems (RIS)) and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), which previously often couldn’t be realized due to security and cost concerns.
Doctors on call
Although physicians have to react quickly in an emergency case a non-stop presence at hospital isn’t always necessary as medical evaluation on the ground of analytical values or x-ray images is more requested. Having access to the relevant medical patient data from home not only saves travel costs, but also precious time when an intervention is urgent. Furthermore, the elimination of compulsory attendance contributes to relieve pressure on doctors. Two issues are particularly important for access to medical patient data from home: data protection and easy use. Hackers must be prevented by all means from gaining access to sensitive data or recording any screen content. Likewise, no medical patient data shall be filed or stored on any private PC. Then again, physicians are no technicians, they therefore need an access from their home PC or Mac without having to deal with installation or configuration of a software.
Not only clinic doctors, but also resident physicians and other outpatient facilities increasingly need access to medical patient data and medical history for medical follow-up. Also, access to HIS is compulsory to view surgery schedules and make reservations. The access from the physician’s PC therefore must both be user-friendly and prohibit any unauthorized access.
Because of their professional expertise, specialized physicians often work for different hospitals and therefore need to remotely access medical patient data in order to monitor their patients’ condition and intervene if necessary.
Controllers with wide-ranging permissions
Because of their cross-functional analysis, controllers need a broad access to all systems. Hence, they represent a particularly attractive target for potential hackers which is why this kind of external access requires a high security level.
Hospitals with geographically distributed sites or an extensive campus need to ensure that physicians and nursing staff have access to all hospital systems from any facility. An active connection shall be kept up at any time when changing the building.
Due to the general cost reductions in healthcare, there is an increased demand for cooperation between hospitals, which of course requires a joint network to be able to access the partner’s clinic systems.
Public training facilities
Further training for physicians and nursing staff is a major element in healthcare. The usage of external training facilities is common when it comes to medical software, but this obviously requires access to all relevant applications, whereas time-consuming work such as installations or protection of third-party training devices is to be avoided.
Hospitals have very complex IT and technical infrastructures, maintenance engineers therefore require a highly secure access to all systems around the clock. As these systems are of vital importance, a high level of protection is imperative to prevent unauthorized access.
The right solutions for any requirement
Different requirements need different solutions. The use of ECOS technology allows you to combine various methods under a central management
A safe and flexible access
For users like resident physicians or staff of outpatient facilities, who frequently need access to clinic applications, we recommend the use ECOS MOBILE OFFICE STICK. It is a USB stick usable on any PC or Mac. The stick contains all software required to set up a secure VPN tunnel as well as the relevant clients for a connection to Citrix, Microsoft Terminal Server, VMware View or web applications. All applications are executed in an isolated sandbox. At the same time, ECOS MOBILE OFFICE STICK acts as two-factor authentication, thus prohibiting unauthorized access. The stick can be used on any PC or Mac, requires no installation or admin permissions and leaves no trace on the used device.
Users with occasional access
For users who only need an occasional access to hospital software we recommend to use ECOS VIRTUAL WEB CLIENT (VVC). A VPN client and, depending on the requirements, either an ICA, RDP, VMware View client or a browser of a particular version will be loaded through a standard browser. The software is automatically executed in a sandbox. No prior installation or configuration work will be necessary. A two-factor authentication by SMS or OTP token is supported for logon. Depending on the usage, the licensing of the ECOS VIRTUAL WEB CLIENT can be effectuated for named or fort concurrent users.
Highly secure access
ECOS SECURE BOOT STICK provides physicians with access to sensitive data from their private PC. Once the stick plugged in, the PC boots a specially hardened ECOS Secure Linux environment. The local hard disk and its operating system stay deactivated, no virus or Trojan can therefore be activated. After successful authentication and depending on the requirements, an ICA, RDP, VMware View client or a browser will be called up. Data and applications will then be available as usual. As ECOS SECURE BOOT STICK ensures a hundred percent separation between private and official PC, it may be considered as part of the clinic hardware and the end-user device as private periphery.
Compatible for iPad and Android-based tablets
Through ECOS SYSTEM MANAGEMENT APPLIANCE (SMA), ECOS Technology provides access from iPad and Android tablets. A secure two-factor authentication is warranted by SMS or OTP token.
Tel: +49 (6133) 939-200