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Accellion in Action: Seattle Children’s Hospital

A recent issue of Research Practitioner Magazine includes the article, “Collaboration Moves Research, Clinical Knowledge” and talks about the importance of medical researchers reaching out to potential collaborators, nearby and globally, as they work on ground-breaking medical research.

For more than 100 years, one such facility, Seattle Children’s Hospital, has provided inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, emergency and outreach services to children from infancy through young adulthood.  Part of Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, has nine major centers, and is internationally recognized for its work in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention and bioethics.

Accellion customer Wes Wright, Chief Technology Officer at Seattle Children’s, weighed in on how Seattle Children’s uses file transfer and collaboration technology from Accellion to facilitate their research.

Seattle Children's Hospital in Washington struggled sending secure files through a difficult-to-use secure file transfer protocol server and using email encryption. Less than a year ago, however, the hospital and foundation switched to a Web-based program, one that offers encryption, user tracking, and transfer of large data files. The program is offered by Accellion, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif.

The switch to the new file transfer system was spurred primarily by research needs, says Wes Wright, vice president and chief technology officer at Seattle Children's. "We put the solution in to help us transfer data files for research, but it has since spread out among the whole organization." After the purchase, the system took only took about three weeks to implement.

About 4,800 employees use the system now… the reason is the simplicity of the plug-in, Wright says. If a user wants to transfer a file, he opens Microsoft Outlook and chooses new mail. In the right-hand corner of the new mail is a plug-in that says "Accellion." "You hit that button and it opens a file browse window. You browse to the file you want and attach it."

…The system also tracks who has downloaded and looked at each file. "Whenever anyone accesses a particular file, we keep a log of it," he says. Sometimes researchers send the file to themselves and download it on their home systems so they can work at home. “We know that user X sent it to himself and then downloaded it when he got home. We can keep track of that file and where it went."

Such technology is "the wave of the future with HIPAA and high-tech regulations and rules," Wright says. "The easier we can make it to securely share and collaborate among researchers, it’s going to be a research differentiator.”

We’re so proud Seattle Children’s Hospital staff and research team use Accellion to help move such important work forward.

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