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West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust | Empowering people and setting the digital security standard

8 min read

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West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is a Global Digital Exemplar; ‘an internationally recognised NHS provider delivering improvements in the quality of care, through the world-class use of digital technologies and information’.

We caught up with Sarah Judge, Future System Digital Programme Lead and Deputy CIO at the trust, to find out how Zivver has been supporting their organization to enhance digital communications security for the better.

“Our experience with Zivver so far has been great, we love it. The greatest testament to the solution is user feedback, and our staff tell us it is incredibly user-friendly,” says Sarah.

“We’ve used it so much more than any other tools available to us, including our historical digital communications solution. This is, in fact, one of the reasons we chose to replace the old platform with Zivver; uptake across the trust of the old platform was very low. With Zivver, uptake is considerably higher - it has skyrocketed. I think it has exceeded our expectations - and that’s because it’s so simple to use.”

Patient-friendly digital communications

“Not only do our employees love it, but we’ve had great feedback from patients, too, through clinicians. These are people who had previous experience with our old solution; they were keen to share that they much prefer Zivver due to how much simpler it is to use. They don’t need to have an account for Zivver, they use a one-time password and that’s it - they have access to their information.”

Supporting the wider digital transformation strategy

“When we launched Zivver, we seized the opportunity to reset our people’s thinking on the matter of data security; we wanted to empower all employees, from clinical staff to administrative teams, to operate with confidence. In this way, Zivver has been an effective training tool for us, in terms of how data is handled in email. And, of course, it helps that Zivver is so easy to use.”

“For us, Zivver is part and parcel of a wider suite of security tools available to us, most of which are invisible to our staff. And while employees know they are using Zivver, due to its integration with Outlook, they don’t have to think about it, because it makes achieving digital communications security so effortless.”

Shaping the future of digital communications security

“Zivver is very intuitive, and the team is continually seeking out opportunities to enhance what is actually an incredibly smart platform. In this way, it’s been great to be able to share our feedback and be involved in the development of different functionalities, making it the best possible solution for NHS trusts.”

“We just went live with trusted domain functionality, meaning we can tell the solution which emails are secure on an administrative level, such as NHSmail and other DCB1596 accredited domains. The user is informed if the domain is safe or requires additional encryption - such as in the instance of a patient’s private Gmail account. The great thing is, the employee doesn’t need to do anything to activate this function - it just automatically works.”

“We’ve also tested another piece of functionality which recognises the presence of NHS numbers in the body or attachments of emails. Zivver alerts the user instantly, before they hit ‘send’, and makes doing the right thing easy.”

“Another piece of functionality which is particularly helpful for NHS trusts is Conversation Starter. This enables external stakeholders to send information securely via a link. So, for example, in the instance of a legal claim, historically the user would send huge data sets of a patient’s information and medical history unsecurely to someone in the business. Now the person can click a link and share the data with us via Zivver - and they don’t need to create a Zivver account to do this.”

“We know, historically, that most data breaches reported to Datix originated from corporate teams. Zivver, and specifically Conversation Starter, will really help us here. In the NHS, the sensitive data we handle isn’t only limited to patient data or clinical information - it’s corporate data, too.”

“We’ve already seen a drastic improvement since we implemented Zivver. This year, in fact, we haven’t yet experienced a data breach and that is in part due to Zivver.”

Effortless large file sharing

“Our previous digital communications security platform didn’t enable large file transfers from our email client, meaning we had to use a third party solution. However, Zivver enables us to share up to 5TB from Outlook. For many reasons, this is a good thing.”

“In addition to cost savings, Zivver provides a much more friendly user experience. The third party platform was administratively very intensive: we had to create a patient file, set up a login for the patient and share it with them, provide the password, ensure no one else could access it, send instructions to the patient on how to use the platform, wait for them to upload the file, and then we had to access it and save it to the patient file. This was beyond clunky and the environment was very corporate, which did not provide a very positive experience for the user.”

“But with Zivver, we send the person an email, they share their attachment with us and we download it; done.”

“Zivver also enables us to fulfill subject access requests very easily. For legal services, sharing patient records, the file size can be enormous. With Zivver, this isn’t a problem. And then, of course, there are inbound files; for example, when patients need to send video files to us. Conversation Starter paired with the ability to send very large files via email will provide a superior patient and stakeholder experience.”

“To any other NHS trusts considering Zivver, I say, go for it; the platform is so intuitive and the implementation is very straightforward. The after-support has been brilliant. Every person I’ve spoken to at West Suffolk trust who has been involved in the go-live, including our service desk manager, has said the service is fabulous. The support team is very responsive, too. It has been and continues to be a great experience.”

Read more customer stories or learn more about Zivver for healthcare organizations.

First published - 31/08/20
Last updated - 01/10/21
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