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Reducing ePHI Risk and Adding Revenue

Our reLink 360 hospital partner is an integrated health care system located in the northeastern part of the United States and is comprised of ten member hospitals and 37 primary care locations. For decades, the health system managed their medical equipment internally in accordance with FDA guidelines.

With their clinical engineers overseeing the installation, de-installation, and decommissioning of devices, The hospital’s goal was to sell or donate as much equipment as possible while mitigating the risk of their electronic patient health information (ePHI) getting compromised.

The hospital’s program had been relatively successful in the past. But with resources stretched, the system began to experience a series of formidable challenges.

Sales and logistics
The health system pursued several tactics to rehome their devices, including online sales and on-site auctions. Over time, the system began to encounter a series of issues:
– Buyers would attempt to renegotiate pricing after the equipment was de-installed, costing the hospital thousands of dollars
– Checks would fail to clear from vendors who had already taken custody of their equipment
– They did not have the systems in place to deliver their equipment to buyers who were across the country.

The hospital did not have a climate-controlled storage facility. With the climates extremely cold winters and hot summers, temperatures in the storage unit could fluctuate 100 degrees, causing severe damage to much of the valuable equipment and making it unsellable.

PHI and ePHI exposure
The health system did not have an effective process in place for removing patient data
– Oftentimes, hard drives were improperly removed, making the equipment unsellable
– The time-consuming process of manually deleting PHI was taxing resources internally
– The chain of liability was not always broken as equipment was often sold or donated with the hospital’s stickers still on the devices

Using reLink’s advanced logistics and technologies, a turnkey program was established to address the issues the health system was facing.

• reLink’s expert team handled all equipment removal, saving the hospital considerable resources and ensuring the devices remained undamaged.
• reLink’s team triaged all equipment, identifying which devices could be sold or donated and which could be recycled.

• Equipment sales were migrated to reLink’s multiple platforms, including online sales and web-based auctions.

• To prevent equipment damage, devices were stored in reLink’s 75,000 square foot climate-controlled warehouse.

• At the reLink warehouse, PHI and ePHI were professionally removed, ensuring that the hospital’s chain of liability was broken.

The hospital system saw immediate positive results on multiple fronts:

Increased revenue. With reLink’s online sales platforms, the health system’s revenue doubled in two short months.

Reduced PHI and ePHI exposure. With reLink professionally removing PHI and ePHI, and the chain of liability was broken all devices.

Added inventory. With the combination of proper ePHI removal and climate-controlled storage, damage to equipment has been virtually eliminated, meaning more devices were available for sale.

More reliable buyers. With reLink, The hospital system now has access to more than 12,000 global buyers, eliminating their exposure to bad-faith customers who might back out of deals or attempt to renegotiate pricing.

A more efficient workforce. With reLink handling a multitude of duties, the hospital experienced an immediate labor savings of 0.2FTEs.