FORTINET is a provider of high-performance IT security solutions such as network security firewalls, application firewalls and other devices to protect enterprises against all sorts of hacking attacks and cybercrime. The company’s clients include private sector entities (both SMEs and large corporations) and government institutions. Prospective users of FORTINET solutions include public and private healthcare organizations.
ChallengeFor the last few years, Polish hospitals have been preparing for the transition to the digital workflow of medical information, which involves tremendous capital expenditure on the development of IT infrastructure. Experts estimate that by 2017 Polish healthcare organizations will have spent more than PLN 3 billion on IT system implementation. This makes it a very promising market for providers of IT solutions, including those in the IT security sector, such as FORTINET. However, Polish healthcare organizations are highly decentralized, which makes it difficult to directly contact the people responsible for making decisions about security systems. This was why building the image of FORTINET as a reliable partner for securing sensitive medical records was a challenge. Making the sector aware of the importance of securing such information was even more complicated, since not all decision makers at hospitals were fully aware of the risk of such information leaking. Likewise, much of the general public is also unaware of the scale of the problem.
As a provider of security solutions that can be used in the healthcare sector during peak demand, FORTINET had to make interested parties aware of these facts:
- The risk of medical information theft is real and must not be disregarded;
- Using the right security solutions for medical information as well as developing IT security infrastructure in the healthcare sector are very important aspects of IT system implementation in hospitals;
- The IT security of Polish hospitals is important for the general public and deserves greater media coverage;
- FORTINET is a recognized provider of the IT security solutions needed by Polish hospitals.
The aim of the campaign was to introduce FORTINET as the leader among providers of security solutions to those persons responsible for IT infrastructure development at healthcare organizations and, as a result, to increase sales in the healthcare sector in the long term.
SAROTA PR faced the challenge of improving and strengthening FORTINET brand awareness in the context of IT system implementation in Polish hospitals as well as educating those institutions about the importance of securing sensitive medical information against leakage. The campaign’s organizers took advantage of legislative changes, which enabled them to emphasize the importance of securing sensitive data.
SolutionThe first stage of the campaign was to choose a model medical center in Poland where all the relevant IT systems could be implemented long before the statutory deadline and to secure its medical records with FORTINET solutions. The final choice was the Provincial Specialist Hospital in Wrocław. The SAROTA PR team organized study visits for key IT, industry, medical and general media. During those visits, journalists had the opportunity to learn how a model computerized medical center operated. This was intended to demonstrate best practices and the benefits of properly secured medical records. Presentations to the media were attended by the hospital’s director, Professor Wojciech Witkiewicz, who is a visionary doctor highly esteemed by the medical community and an advocate of the idea of buying Poland’s first da Vinci surgical robot. Professor Witkiewicz gave a lecture about the da Vinci machine, which has fiber-optic control lines secured against cyber threats by FORTINET devices. The journalists also witnessed a fragment of live surgery. Then, accompanied by the Head of the IT Department, they learned how the advanced IT technologies at the hospital worked. In addition to a visit to a state-of-the-art server room, journalists also experienced the medical clinical assistants (MCAs) – the tablets that doctors and nurses at the Wrocław hospital use instead of pen and paper medical records.
The next stage of the campaign was to prepare a report on the readiness of the Polish healthcare sector to meet the requirements of the Act with regard to IT system implementation. In cooperation with research company Korporacja Badawcza Pretendent, surveys were conducted at 100 medical centers, asking about their readiness to transition to electronic information workflow and the security solutions in use. FORTINET’s role as the commissioner of the report and comments on the survey results from the company’s experts were aimed at enhancing FORTINET’s image as experts in IT system implementation in hospitals. The research showed, among other things, that only 10 per cent of Polish hospitals would be able to implement full Electronic Medical Records in early 2014. Just a few months ahead of the initial deadline (August 1, 2014) for implementing the Electronic Medical Records as required by the Act, as many as 46 per cent of hospitals said their progress was “average”, with 10 per cent saying it was “poor” or “very poor”. Importantly, according to the report, more than half of respondents (55 per cent) said that the current level of security for data processing and transmission in their organization was “rather good”, with 25 per cent saying it was “average”. Only 17 per cent of the surveyed hospitals said that their security solutions were good enough to resist the majority of cyber threats. These data, as well as stressing the importance of medical information, triggered a nationwide discussion on the security of sensitive medical records.
The third stage of the campaign was to initiate a series of training courses for IT companies and IT managers at hospitals on how to effectively deploy state-of-the-art security solutions in the healthcare sector. In total, the meetings in Katowice, Warsaw and Poznań were attended by nearly 70 individuals from 9 hospitals and 29 IT companies involved in deployments at healthcare organizations.
EffectsSince the launch of the campaign, 107 stories on the subject have been published in nationwide and industry press, on the radio and the Internet. The study visit to the hospital in Wrocław was covered by journalists from top magazines for managers of healthcare organizations and IT directors at hospitals. The topic received wide coverage in the following magazines: IT w Administracji, Healthcare Management Magazine and the specialist quarterly Nowe Technologie IT w Ochronie Zdrowia. The visit also attracted the attention of the industry’s major online media, such as rynekzdrowia.pl.
The report on the progress of IT system implementation in hospitals met with positive responses from opinion leaders, including press agencies, the most popular dailies, and the radio. The results were commented on by, among others, Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna dailies, Computerworld and Reseller News monthlies, as well as specialist magazines such as Nowoczesna Klinika and Służba Zdrowia. Information about the report also appeared on more than 70 news portals, including Wprost.pl, Forbes.pl, and Pb.pl, and on the websites of medical magazines. During the survey, more than 80 per cent of respondents indicated that they wanted to know the results and to learn more about network security solutions for the healthcare sector. All of them were prospects for the FORTINET brand. Fifteen of them took part in special workshops. As a result of the campaign, interest in FORTINET products for the healthcare sector substantially increased in hospitals and other healthcare organizations. In addition to strengthening awareness of the FORTINET brand in the sector and educating prospects, the campaign conducted by SAROTA PR also directly contributed to increasing sales of FORTINET solutions. Since February 2014, the company has completed more than 70 deployments at healthcare organizations in Poland. The value of most of these projects was more than USD 10,000, and three of them generated more than USD 30,000.
The following media, among others, covered the campaign: Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, PAP, Newseria, Polskie Radio Szczecin, Nowoczesna Klinika, Ogólnopolski Przegląd Medyczny, Służba Zdrowia, Healthcare Management Magazine, Nowe Technologie IT w Ochronie Zdrowia, IT w Administracji, Reseller News, IT Polska-News Computerworld, Wprost.pl, Onet.pl, Forbes.pl, Bankier.pl, Interia.pl, and Rynekzdrowia.pl.
The campaign received nominations in international PR industry competitions: SABRE Awards 2015 in Technology: Hardware category and IPRA Golden Awards 2015 in Business-to-Business category.
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