Case Study September 21, 2018

ePreop: Managed Services & HIPAA Compliance on Microsoft Azure

Challenge
As a Connectria hosting customer, ePreops needed to investigate leading public cloud alternatives to support growth and their global data center footprints.
Selection Criteria
A provider who is a Microsoft development partner, with extensive knowledge of managing and supporting Azure in a HIPAA compliant environment that would align with ePreop’s business direction.
Result
ePreop received an immediate benefit during the first week of operation with the ability to scale on-demand while adding new customers with no downtime.

ePreop is a software company whose Software as a Service platform assists in care coordination of surgical patients, while saving time and money. As a Connectria customer since 2009, ePreop enjoyed Connectria’s expert HIPAA compliant managed services and support. When ePreop wanted to move their platform to Azure, Connectria was there to provide the best solution for their needs. They stayed with Connectria but are now on Azure.

Today, ePreop’s software suite includes SurgicalValet™ and AnesthesiaValet™. SurgicalValet includes Patient Engagement which eliminates redundancies and simplifies the patient boarding process; integrated Surgical Case Management which organizes patient data and readiness; Surgical CDI (Clinical Documentation Integrity) for accurate billing and improved audits; Readmission Prevention which provides clear information and tools for avoiding return hospital stays; and PQRS (Physician Quality Reporting System) QCDR (Qualified Clinical Data Registry) reporting for improved quality care as well as avoiding payment penalties.
AnesthesiaValet serves as an access point to SurgicalValet for a full Perioperative Surgical Home suite. Designed by anesthesiologists, it includes a complete QCDR reporting platform that integrates with most major Electronic Health Record (EHR) and billing companies. Participating providers can avoid CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) penalties, prepare for value based payment models, and implement enhanced recovery pathways as part of a full Perioperative Surgical Home.

The ePreop platform simplifies the surgical experience for all involved; for patients, surgeons, anesthesiologists, hospital and surgery center administration, surgical RNs and schedulers, as well as the Payers and ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations).
The Challenge
ePreop’s software platform was designed and built for the Cloud. It is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that enables their customers to license their software suite on a subscription basis and get up and running quickly. As ePreop rolled out their solution, they decided to host their software rather than manage IT infrastructure on their own. ePreop felt that it did not make sense to put the required effort toward building their own data center with the level of scalability and security they needed. They also required an advanced HIPAA program to ensure data safety and compliance and believed they needed an experienced partner to implement and manage the solution.
After an extensive search for a hosting partner, ePreop chose Connectria. According to Joe Lesters, ePreop Executive VP, Technology, “We initially chose Connectria since they were a reputable hosting provider but also since they’re one of the rare providers with a strong HIPAA compliant hosting background. Connectria really helped us get off the ground. They fully understood compliance, what is required and how to help us achieve and maintain compliance. We found there just weren’t many hosting companies out there with that level of experience.” Reid Wilburn, ePreop’s COO added, “the ability to scale up quickly with the flexibility to start at the initial size we wanted was also a key component for selecting Connectria. Connectria’s knowledge and experience gave us comfort that they would be the type of attentive partner we needed and could trust. And even though Connectria was not the least expensive from a pure price point, we did feel they provided the greatest value for us.”
The Solution
For the next several years, Connectria hosted and managed ePreop’s HIPAA private cloud solution within its own data centers. As popular public cloud options such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure became more prevalent, ePreop wanted to explore these as an alternative.

The key drivers behind ePreop’s decision to investigate leading public cloud
alternatives lie in their scalability and their global data center footprints. As
ePreop’s business grew with designs on expansion to regions outside of North
America, AWS or Azure could provide the platform to support their growth.
Though ePreop was evaluating both AWS and Azure as their new cloud
platform, it was clear from the onset that they’d continue to rely upon
Connectria for managing and supporting their environment.
“We had real level of comfort with the services Connectria provided us,” noted
Joe Lesters. “We knew Connectria had a lot of expertise in the field, and would
keep up on the security products, trends and processes to keep our data safe
and compliant.”
In evaluating AWS versus Azure, ePreop was initially drawn toward AWS’s size and Connectria’s experience providing HIPAA managed services and support on the AWS platform. However, after further researching Azure along with Connectria’s plans to offer HIPAA compliant services on Azure, ePreop made its decision. “Since we are a Microsoft development partner, we were confident Azure would meet our long-term requirements” said Lesters.
The Results
ePreop went live with its HIPAA managed Azure solution in 2016 and according to them, they “haven’t missed a beat.” They have the comfort of receiving the same high level of services from Connectria on Azure that they’ve enjoyed since 2009. In fact, ePreop stated they received immediate benefit during their first week of operation, with the ability to scale on-demand as they’ve added new customers with no downtime. In addition to their satisfaction with the Azure platform, ePreop noted that Connectria’s HIPAA expertise and customer support has been outstanding. “People are accessible any time of the day or night,” noted Joe Lesters. “I’ve even had support and network staff respond to us while they’re on vacation. It very much feels as though they’re part of our team.”

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