Xythos server simplifies file management

A US hospital has made significant changes in how doctors, medical researchers, and clinicians view and exchange electronic...

A US hospital has made significant changes in how doctors, medical researchers, and clinicians view and exchange electronic documents with help from Xythos Software, a provider of internet and file management software.

The Surgical Planning Lab (SPL) at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston began integrating Xythos' WebFile Server (WFS) in 2001 to improve how personnel collaborated on documents, reviewed and exchanged information files, and protected confidential medical data for medical research grants.

The SPL's research contains patient information and related data sets, which are exchanged between in-house researchers and outside collaborators. These data contain clinical information on medical studies and are shared among doctors. 

The SPL's previous method for document collaboration centred around multiple applications, including e-mail attachments, file transfer protocol (FTP), and internal and external websites. The patchwork of systems limited user access and did not guarantee patient confidentiality. 

"We can have 15 principal investigators and more than 75 contributors working on a grant," said Michael Halle, director of technology development at the SPL. "Some grants can run over 1,000 pages, which is too big to send as an e-mail attachment and not secure. We needed a system that was secure and uncomplicated for users to learn, as many researchers and clinicians working on grants do not have extensive computer experience." 

Document collaboration has increased as a result of the system's web interface. WFS also eliminated FTP firewall-related problems, which slowed downloads crossing the firewall, Halle said, adding that access control is more secure than FTP. 

"With WFS, all authorised users responsible for managing patient information have access to records through a secure login system," said Ed Miller, president and chief executive officer of Xythos.

"WFS' Lightweight Directory Access Protocol [LDAP] supports login names and passwords. With LDAP, all document transmissions are encrypted, so no outside or unauthorised users can see working documents. Also, the SPL can monitor who is looking at what documents for how long and what level of access is granted to each user." 

SPL users were able to use WFS immediately after undergoing intuitive online training which took less than two months. 

Xythos declined to disclose specific pricing for WFS.

Jeff Berman writes for Health-IT World

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