Tightening Security After a Data Breach

Discover how AdventHealth recovered from a data breach by transitioning to Formstack’s HIPAA compliant forms with some impressive results.

With an emphasis on supporting an exemplary continuum of care, AdventHealth works to support patients even after discharge. This means they stay connected with patients and staple organizations within patient communities as a way to support continued wellness and promote preventive care. In fact, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has named AdventHealth a recipient of their annual Healthcare’s Most Wired award six times.

According to David Ottati, president and chief executive officer of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division - North Region, leveraging technology and innovation is a part of the hospital system’s commitment to delivering best-practice, high-quality care.


While AdventHealth has made amazing strides toward achieving interoperability, they are no stranger to setbacks.

In 2017, AdventHealth overcame one of the worst complications facing healthcare providers today: a security breach. A zero-day vulnerability in the form tool software embedded on their website was exploited, risking patient data.

As AdventHealth’s IT director for CRM, Kevin Howell knew their team needed to act fast to replace their old tool without a long break in data collection. They needed a secure, HIPAA compliant product that could seamlessly replace their old tool. As they began to reach out to vendors, they found just what they were looking for in Formstack.

“[After the breach], we wanted to make sure we were doing things right. Formstack was a natural fit,” Howell said.


It's never a good time for a breach, but in the summer of 2017, AdventHealth was preparing to launch a rebrand to more adequately show their transition from a collection of assets to a fully-connected healthcare system. The team knew they couldn’t launch their new brand knowing there were insecure web forms on their website.

It was crunch time.

With the simplicity of Formstack’s drag-and-drop form builder, they were able to use a small team to get ready. They easily transitioned to Formstack, and when their new website went live, they deployed over 400 forms. These forms were launched systemwide and supported AdventHealth’s 80 hospital campuses. Data was collected on a variety of forms ranging from contact us forms to request appointment forms. With Formstack, submissions were remote hosted, users across the entire company could be managed from a primary account, and integrating with Salesforce was quick and easy.

One of the biggest initiatives they took on was moving all their pre-birth units over to Formstack for pre-registration.

“[Pre-birth units] were a key item that we wanted to hone in on,” Howell said, “and we wanted to make sure they were collecting data securely.”

Now, all of AdventHealth’s hospitals with mother/baby or pre-birth units use Formstack for their pre-registration.

“Now, when you come into the hospital, you’ve already filled out a Formstack form. New mothers don’t have to worry about paperwork,” Howell said.


In the six months following Formstack adoption, AdventHealth’s user count has grown exponentially.

“Once people see Formstack, they really want to have access,” Howell said. “Staff have adopted their own distributed work model where departments are trying to get as many of their people on the platform as possible so they can respond quickly.”

As Formstack continues to expand across AdventHealth, staff have adopted email notifications and confirmations and other alerts to promote a more engaged and improved patient experience. With Formstack’s Salesforce integration, AdventHealth is expanding how they are using their forms beyond registration and other patient forms. Now, forms are used to support things like marketing campaigns and call center call-back lists. This helps AdventHealth follow up with patients and keep them engaged across all aspects of care.

“Before Formstack, building a registration form would require a web developer to build out the Drupal form, followed by an API integration to Salesforce, and then there was an email to notify people," Howell said. “We were doing all of that from scratch. It was super expensive and time intensive. Now, we can turn forms around in minutes. Before it was taking days or weeks.”

For AdventHealth, Formstack’s open API is another key feature that supports their interoperable ecosystem.

“We leverage the API pretty heavily on the IT side,” Howell explained, “and the reason for that is to add data to our own reporting app. So we can see reporting on form data across all of our forms.”

AdventHealth came to Formstack in search of a more secure, HIPAA compliant solution. Of course, they found what they needed. What they didn’t expect was the time they would save on a daily basis.

“Before, I needed a full-time developer to put in 40 hours of work to build the form and integrate it. Now, just about anyone in the company can build a form and deploy it.”

AdventHealth plans to continue to expand their Formstack forms. In the future, they plan to implement Formstack’s Authorize.Net payment integration to expand their donation form offering.

Want to learn more? 
Watch this webinar to hear directly from AdventHealth.

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Implemented solution quickly

Launched more than 400 HIPAA compliant forms in one day

Eliminated data silos

Used APIs to combine all form data into one tool for easier data analysis

Minimized strain on staff

Cut down form management team from several IT staff to one marketing employee

Improved data collection

Launched new workflows and processes across 80 hospital campuses

Video Transcript

Across 80 hospital campuses and hundreds of care sites, AdventHealth (previously Adventist Health System) has spent over 45 years delivering world-class expertise and compassionate care. Their staff of more than 80,000 is dedicated to a holistic view of patient care where physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are met.
Secure Data Collection