Epic applications are crucial to your operations, whether for medical records, scheduling, billing, patient flow, or the digital patient experience. Protecting the performance and availability of these applications is essential to providing excellent care.
However, the sensitive data in your Epic applications is targeted by attackers looking to hold data for ransom or sell information for profit. A security incident can take your electronic medical records (EMRs) or other systems offline, resulting in high costs from regulatory fines, system repair/cleanup, or lawsuits. The average cost of a data breach in healthcare is over $10M,1 but major breaches in 2021 and 2022 cost impacted organizations over $100M due to prolonged outages.2
An EMR outage can also significantly impact patient care. A study of the impact of ransomware on U.S. healthcare organizations found that attacks led to rescheduling or canceling procedures and diverting ambulances.3 Relying on paper forms and records as a backup during an outage decreases efficiency and can increase frustration for medical staff and patients.
Outages and slowdowns can also happen due to application misconfigurations. Deploying and upgrading Epic applications across multiple clouds or data centers is a complex and time-consuming task that can result in accidental misconfigurations or configuration drift, increasing the risk of sub-optimal performance.
To keep your Epic applications available and running at peak performance, you need security and application delivery tools that can help prevent security incidents as well as maintain operations during a partial outage, such as a network or data center issue. With the proper security measures enabled by F5 solutions and following security best practices that embrace automation and centralized management, your applications will be secure, compliant, fast, and available wherever and whenever needed.
F5 and Epic Systems have partnered for over a decade to protect your healthcare data and operations. F5 solutions are used by many of the largest Epic customers to deliver fast and secure applications, increase reliability, and enhance efficiency.
Start by deploying Epic applications more efficiently while reducing the risk of misconfigurations or errors. F5 BIG-IP Application Services Templates (FAST) are pre-built, validated templates that follow Epic best practices and are regularly updated. Each template has minimal variables to make configuration faster, easier, and more consistent. You can also automate deployment by using FAST with HashiCorp Terraform or Red Hat Ansible to deploy a new application across multiple locations in just minutes.
Protect Epic applications against threats, including the OWASP Top 10, bots, and DDoS attacks, with F5 BIG-IP Advanced Web Application Firewall (WAF). Predefined, customizable policies for Advanced WAF make it ridiculously easy to secure your Epic applications and fine-tune settings for your organization. Centralized management helps maintain a consistent security posture across applications and deployment locations. Customers can even automate BIG-IP Advanced WAF deployments and policy updates by using FAST templates.
With BIG-IP Advanced WAF protecting your Epic applications, you can leverage F5 security intelligence to block automated attacks, check for leaked credentials, and improve security compliance. Protect patients using MyChart by encrypting login credentials to prevent theft of sensitive data via their browser, going beyond the benchmarks for the best patient experience. Advanced technologies like machine learning and behavioral protection identify layer 7 attacks that signature-based security cannot.
Improved security can contribute to increased application uptime, but intelligent traffic management can also increase performance and scalability by steering traffic to the best available server. F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager can be deployed on-premises or in private or public clouds to increase reliability through network isolation, traffic steering, and SSL offloading. In the case of a data center or network outage, BIG-IP DNS can automatically fail over individual applications or an entire site with global load balancing. Real-time traffic optimization delivers a better user experience when seconds count and speed is critical.
F5 solutions for Epic provide more efficient security and better performance. Threat protection reduces the risk of a security breach for your Epic applications and integrations. Templatized, best-practice configurations and global load balancing increase the uptime and reliability of your applications while traffic inspection and steering boost performance. Reduce the strain on your IT team and medical staff with fast and secure Epic applications.
Learn more about how F5 can help you protect your healthcare data and operations at f5.com/epic.
1 IBM, Cost of a Data Breach Report, July 2022
2 SC Media, CommonSpirit Health cyberattack, month-long network outage cost $150M, Feb. 2022
3 Neprash HT, et al. Trends in Ransomware Attacks on US Hospitals, Clinics, and Other Health Care Delivery Organizations, 2016-2021, JAMA Health Forum, Dec. 2022