University of Colorado Health migrates from legacy email to Office 365

17,000 mailboxes from three disparate healthcare organisations move to single consolidated environment

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 19 December 2013
University of Colorado Health migrates from legacy email to Office 365

UCHealth has fully migrated 17,000 mailboxes from three disparate healthcare organisations on multiple legacy email platforms into one single consolidated Microsoft Office 365 environment.

A new healthcare system formed by Poudre Valley Health System, University of Colorado Hospital and Memorial Health System, UCHealth is one of the largest healthcare providers in Colorado.

In a sensitive industry, things such as patient data need to be kept safe, and the cloud option presented by Microsoft Office 365 was able to cover the needs of UCHealth, ensuring that the data of its patient remained private and secure.

UCHealth’s wanted to integrate its legacy IT solutions into single solutions including its enterprise resource planning, electronic health records and email systems. UCHealth looked at a variety of vendors but chose Office 365 because of its functionality and usability, and Microsoft’s support of HIPAA requirements.

“The healthcare industry is generally hesitant to use the cloud because of security and HIPAA concerns,” said Steve Hess, chief information officer for UCHealth. “However, Microsoft’s strong commitment to data security, privacy and compliance with HIPAA standards, coupled with its willingness to sign a comprehensive Business Associate Agreement for Office 365, gave us the confidence we needed to overcome our cloud anxieties.”

The HIPAA requirements mandate that health providers and their cloud vendors have a legal obligation and a shared responsibility to protect patient data. These requirements have recently been updated to accommodate for the advent of cloud computing, and it is paramount that health organisations that are looking to migrate to the cloud ensure that data privacy and security is the fulcrum of their IT architecture in order to align with the necessities outlined by HIPAA.

“At Microsoft, we believe that every person or entity touching or housing protected health information should be held to the highest privacy and security standards, and that they should have trusted technology to help keep this data secure,” said Dr. Dennis Schmuland, chief health strategy officer, U.S. Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft, in an official blog post. “To that end, Microsoft is committed to meeting or exceeding health data security and privacy regulatory requirements to protect not only sensitive health data, but all customer data housed in our enterprise cloud computing environment.”

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