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Customer Story

Simplifying Healthcare Communication: The Power of Gmail


Gmail, meeting 67 of 84 secure email controls, emerges as a viable solution in healthcare communication, backed by a study involving Adapta and key healthcare players.


Six leading Dutch healthcare organizations joined this research, each renowned for their commitment to innovation and patient care. Stichting Laurens and Stichting Amstelring Groep, Zorgcentra de Betuwe, Altrecht, Buurtzorg and BrabantZorg, brought their expertise and experience to the forefront. These institutions are dedicated to enhancing healthcare delivery through technological advancements and are pivotal in shaping future healthcare communication strategies. Their participation underlines a collective effort to explore and adopt secure, efficient email solutions, contributing significantly to the evolution of healthcare practices Adapta, a pioneering IT company in the Netherlands, focuses on enhancing healthcare professional lives. Operating under four distinct labels, Adapta offers innovative solutions aimed at improving healthcare communication and efficiency, driven by a mission to sustain and elevate healthcare standards.

Features used

Gmail, meeting 67 of 84 secure email controls, emerges as a viable solution in healthcare communication, backed by a study involving Adapta and key healthcare players.

Google Workspace Results

Gmail Triumphs in Healthcare Secure Email

  • Google and Adapta collaborate for healthcare email solution

  • Objective Control Framework evaluates Gmail’s compliance with healthcare standards

  • Gmail's inherent features align with NEN 7510, NTA 7516 standards

  • Research urges healthcare sector to adopt Gmail for secure, efficient communication

In the intricate world of healthcare, the notion that secure email communication with patient data necessitates an array of complex plugins or elaborate customizations has long caused significant frustrations. This belief has led to cumbersome workflows for healthcare professionals and maintenance challenges for administrators, especially when updates to standard email services like Gmail and Outlook render these plugins obsolete. But is there an alternative route to compliance with secure email regulations?

Unraveling the Secure Email Puzzle

A groundbreaking collaboration between Google, Adapta, and six forward-thinking healthcare organizations set out to address this pressing issue. The pivotal question they tackled: Are these additional "secure emailing" solutions truly necessary to meet NTA standards? Do they offer functionalities that Gmail lacks? Surprisingly, the conclusion was clear – Gmail can effectively be used for emailing patient data, without the need for any additional tooling.

Participants Spearheading Change

Adapta Security, in partnership with KPMG, Google, and renowned healthcare institutions like Stichting Laurens and Stichting Amstelring Groep, spearheaded this deep-dive research. Their collective efforts were instrumental in providing practical insights and experiences that shaped the study's outcomes.

Methodology: The Path to Discovery

Central to this research was the Objective Control Framework (OCF), a methodology crafted by KPMG. This framework, which harmonizes relevant legislation, industry standards, and established market practices, thoroughly evaluated a total of 84 controls across categories like availability, integrity, confidentiality, user-friendliness, and interoperability. The project team, comprising experts from Adapta Security, KPMG Netherlands, Google, and representatives from participating healthcare organizations, meticulously assembled the OCF, analyzed pertinent data, validated the framework through practical tests, and ultimately assessed Gmail's compliance with this framework.

Breakthrough Results: Gmail Triumphs

Gmail excelled remarkably, fully meeting 67 of the 84 assessed controls, partially fulfilling 6, with 4 being non-assessable and 7 non-applicable. These findings underscore that Gmail largely aligns with the requirements for secure emailing in the Dutch healthcare sector. Notably, even though Google hasn't formally implemented NEN 7510 and NTA 7516 standards, many of the requisite security measures are inherently present in Gmail, albeit differently.

Technological Paradigm Shift in Healthcare

These results signify a crucial technological evolution in the healthcare sector. Gmail's capability as a reliable and secure email solution is a testament to the deployability of new, previously unforeseen technologies in the realm of secure emailing.

The Way Forward: Embracing Simplicity and Efficiency

These findings offer significant potential to simplify the lives of healthcare professionals, allowing them to use familiar email solutions while reducing costs and administrative burdens. Healthcare organizations are now encouraged to demand that their partners and suppliers securely and directly deliver emails to Gmail, moving away from the notion that secure emailing is only possible with additional solutions. This shift opens the door for a more efficient, secure, and cost-effective healthcare sector, where simplicity and usability are at the forefront.

A Call for Industry-Wide Transformation

This research is more than just a study; it's a call to action. It challenges the healthcare sector to rethink email security standards and opt for simpler yet equally effective solutions. By choosing direct and secure communication through Gmail, we can pave the way for a healthcare sector that is not only safer but also more user-friendly.

Google's Gmail emerges as the clear winner in this study, demonstrating its capacity to contribute to simplicity and ease of use for healthcare professionals. This research is a testament to Google's commitment to innovation and a reminder of the power of built-in solutions in transforming industries. The future of healthcare communication is here, and it's simpler and more secure than ever, thanks to Gmail.

*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.