Novell Helps South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Offer Secure Web Services
State agency deploying Novell exteNd and Novell Nsure solutions to create a secure portal that provides remote users with anytime, anywhere access to information Ease-of-use of Novell exteNd enables development team with limited Java experience to turn proprietary applications into secure Web services Web-based Medicaid reporting application eliminates the need for printing thousands of large reports, expected to save the department close to $1 million annually in printing and postage costs alone
The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was experiencing serious growing pains in early 2002. With more than 1,800 employees, the department had nearly doubled its staff over the past few years and was quickly outgrowing its 150 offices throughout the state. The solution, as the department saw it, was to give each of its employees the ability to become a mobile worker by providing them with secure access to the department's information anytime, regardless of location or device.
Without the budget or the means to build a private network infrastructure, the DHHS sought an Web-based solution that would not only address the mobile worker issue, but also provide an application development platform upon which the DHHS could Web service-enable many of its mainframe-based, proprietary applications, as well as create new Web service applications, and do so while meeting the stringent security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
After evaluating a number of platforms, including Microsoft's .NET, the DHHS turned to Novell, selecting the Java*-based Novell® exteNd™ product suite as its Web application development platform and the Novell Nsure™ solution family for secure identity management. Working with a team from Novell and BravePoint, a Novell Platinum Integrator Partner, the DHHS was able to build a Web portal that integrated with its back-end applications and provided secure access for the employees and affiliated health workers operating across the 150 different hospitals and offices in South Carolina. The portal enables HIPAA-compliant transactions on the strength of both Novell exteNd and Novell Nsure solutions. Powered by Novell exteNd, the portal relies on the secure identity management provided by Novell Nsure solutions to make certain that authorized users, and only authorized users, have secure access to the information and applications they need to do their jobs.
"We initially looked at using Microsoft's .NET to move our applications to the Web, but a standards-based environment was very important to us," said Paul Gowder, department Webmaster at the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. "We didn't want to be tied to a customized, proprietary solution without the flexibility of open standards. We evaluated various systems, but found that only Novell exteNd and Novell Nsure could support our complete list of requirements."
Working with Novell and BravePoint, the agency's small project team with little previous Java experience has been able to quickly Web-enable several proprietary back-end applications. One of the application development projects expected to yield enormous dividends is the creation of a Web services-based application that allows Medicaid remittance reporting to be done in the form of weekly Web reports to several thousand hospitals and physicians. The electronic delivery, which replaces the need to mail large reports that can number 300-400 pages, is expected to save the DHHS an estimated $1 million annually in printing and postage costs alone.
The DHHS plans to eventually expand its portal to accommodate nearly 75,000 doctors and health professionals, providing secure, personalized access to update provider status and check real-time Medicaid remittance information. So far, the DHHS has leveraged the power of the Novell exteNd and Novell Nsure solutions to provide enhanced access and services to its entire employee base without any additional budget or IT headcount.
Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at http://www.novell.com.
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