Business challenge

Maintain high service levels with limited staff and budget; achieve visibility into computing assets; automatically remediate security and health issues on computers; validate software licensing usage and compliance across enterprise.

Transformation

IBM BigFix simplifies IT operations and provides the visibility Concord Health needs to maintain a secure and healthy computing environment.

Results

Centralized administration

Comprehensive automation

Real-time visibility into remediation processes

Flexibility to solve additional IT challenges in the future

Improving service and compliance

Reducing costs

Business challenge story

Maintaining security in a wired world

Increasingly sophisticated malware attacks can leave healthcare providers in a vulnerable position as they confront the critical need to improve security while also keeping IT costs under control. Concord Hospital has worked hard to cultivate a reputation for clinical and patient service excellence.

As an example of its progressive approach to automating health service delivery, Hospitals & Health Networks magazine has named Concord one of the United States’ “Most Wired Hospitals” for several consecutive years. In order to maintain this level of operational excellence, Concord Hospital needed a solution to save time and resources while also improving results for software licensing, patch management, asset inventory and security configuration.

 

We have been very impressed with the solution and highly recommend it to colleagues in the healthcare industry.

—Mark Starry, Manager of IT Infrastructure & Security, Concord Hospital

Transformation story

Automating time-intensive security tasks

IBM® BigFix® provides endpoint security, asset discovery, software licensing management and anti-virus client management for more than 3,800 systems throughout the Concord Hospital and Capital Region Health Care organization. Thanks to the software’s unified management architecture, the IT staff spends less time with tedious administrative tasks and more time delivering world-class customer service to their end users. In fact, Concord IT staff report patch and update actions that used to require weeks to execute now transact in as little as 15 minutes, with complete visibility into progress and status. Overall patch compliance figures have gone from 40-60 percent to about 93 percent.

In addition to using BigFix to drive an active patch and update program, the Hospital has deployed the software to see and control its third party anti-virus software from the same console it uses for patch and update processes, asset inventory and discovery, and security configuration status reporting. Thanks to this level of visibility and control, neither Concord Hospital’s operations nor its security integrity have been compromised since installing the solution in 2004. This is a dramatic improvement compared to the Hospital’s infection rate prior to 2004.

Additional uses of BigFix have also paid dividends at Concord Hospital. The Hospital is starting to use the software to monitor and manage software license usage and has realized up to 25 percent savings in software licensing costs by identifying and removing under-utilized software.

The Hospital also has expanded automated patch management to cover widely used applications such as Adobe document management products, Apple QuickTime, and Microsoft Office software. The IT staff uses IBM Fixlet® messages to perform customized tasks such as managing third-party anti-virus client definition files and making adjustments to DNS server settings.

Finally, the software’s asset inventory and reporting capabilities are helping the Hospital meet data security and privacy standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other legislation. Security controls on critical servers and workstations that manage electronic patient health information (ePHI) can now be implemented and validated, helping confirm that computers interacting with clinical systems meet HIPAA requirements for security, integrity and reliability.

One thing that really helps is that we can add to our repertoire of services while using a familiar console and management infrastructure. One tool set, one infrastructure, keeps learning curves flat when adding new services.

—Mark Starry, Manager of IT Infrastructure & Security, Concord Hospital

Results story

Looking ahead

By reducing costs while also improving service and compliance, Concord Hospital can add to its repertoire of security configuration management services while using a familiar console and management infrastructure. Concord Hospital can add services to the mix without requiring major new hardware investments or modifications to business processes. By using one toolset and one unified infrastructure for endpoint management, the Hospital reduces management complexity and improves productivity, service and coverage.

As Mark Starry notes, “We’ve been impressed with how the software has helped meet our goals and we’re finding new uses for it all the time. One thing that really helps is that we can add to our repertoire of services while using a familiar console and management infrastructure. One tool set, one infrastructure, keeps learning curves flat when adding new services.”

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About Concord Hospital

Concord Hospital is a regional medical center that provides comprehensive acute care services and healthcare programs to people throughout New Hampshire. Concord Hospital serves as a cornerstone for its parent company, Capital Region Health Care (CRHC), a charitable health delivery system committed to the concept of community-based healthcare.

Solution Components

  • BigFix Inventory
  • BigFix Lifecycle
  • BigFix Patch
  • BigFix Protection
  • Bigfix Detect
  • Bigfix Endpt Security

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Security solutions please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/security

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