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St Andrew’s Healthcare Turns to Imprivata to Simplify and Secure Access to Patient Data

August 2010 by Marc Jacob

Imprivata®, Inc. announced that St Andrew’s Healthcare, the UK’s largest not-for-profit mental health charity has selected Imprivata OneSign to provide 3,500 employees with faster and more efficient access to a range of applications via Single Sign-On (SSO) and strong authentication with smart cards. The rollout, completed in June 2010 across the organisation’s four sites in Basildon, Birmingham, Mansfield and Northampton will allow clinical and support staff to increase the speed at which they can securely access patient information and raise the levels of patient care.

The implementation of OneSign will improve clinical productivity by providing users with a single point of secure access though which they can connect to multiple applications, including electronic patient records, HR, Finance, a range of intranet-based applications and its in-house knowledge system.

With OneSign St Andrew’s will bolster the levels of security around user access management without compromising productivity or patient care. OneSign will also ensure IT staff can quickly and efficiently audit access to patient information to patient information, helping to avoid malpractice by uncovering instances of shared passwords. This is especially valuable with increasingly strict compliance regulations around the issue of psychiatric medicines and drugs.

St Andrew’s is regularly audited by the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health, who assess the standards of care being provided at healthcare organisations across the UK. As part of the process, auditors request access to random patient records and other data to ensure these are being managed securely. Previously, auditing employee access to patient data would involve manual printing of SQL tables, however with OneSign IT staff can access records at the click of a switch, simplifying compliance reporting.

“The nature of our work within mental health organisations involves both sensitive patient data and the prescription of psychiatric drugs – which underscores the importance of having complete control of who accesses our IT systems without jeopardising the productivity of our staff,” said Paul Kirkpatrick, Director of IT. “Working with Imprivata to implement Single sign-on and strong authentication has enabled us to ensure that only authorised employees can access patient information and applications whilst also making sure we can improve the efficiency of our auditing for regulatory bodies.”

Additionally, as a 24-hour psychiatric hospital, St Andrew’s has to ensure that medical staff can access data and applications round-the-clock and the self-service password reset module within OneSign will help reduce some of the 400 password reset calls to the IT helpdesk per month, freeing up one full-time employee for other activities.

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