Health IT

Single sign-on provider is on a mission to “remove excess clicks” from hospital IT

While some hospitals claim to be seeing benefits of electronic medical records, others are still complaining that they’re cumbersome and time-consuming. Keeping digitized personal health information private and secure, while opening up new  lines of communication, is apparently clogging up some systems. That was reason enough for IT security company Imprivata to launch a global […]

While some hospitals claim to be seeing benefits of electronic medical records, others are still complaining that they’re cumbersome and time-consuming. Keeping digitized personal health information private and secure, while opening up new  lines of communication, is apparently clogging up some systems.

That was reason enough for IT security company Imprivata to launch a global healthcare division in 2010 to help hospitals access data easily, efficiently and safely. With a flagship product called OneSign, that division has spent much of the past three years working with EMR vendors and hospitals like United Regional Health Care and Lake Forest Hospital on implementing its single sign on platform.

It’s the kind of technology Shahid Shah has called one of the most important components of health IT data integration. OneSign lets hospital staff use their fingerprints or swipe their ID badges to log in and out of various clinical, financial and administrative applications.

“Healthcare is highly mobile; clinicians are accessing several different workstations on different floors and in different departments,” said Imprivata’s chief marketing officer Ed Gaudet in a recent interview with MedCity News. That, combined with the need to keep patient health information private, means a clinician could be logging into some kind of application a dozen times an hour, or more than a hundred times a day. “That adds up to real-time and productivity challenges for doctors,” Gaudet said.

One of the kinds of applications that Gaudet, and many other health IT pros, say has become increasingly popular is desktop virtualization. The company partnered with virtualization and cloud computing companies VMware and Citrix to automate the log-in process for their virtual desktop solutions.

“Now your desktop is on a server and not tied to a certain computer,” he said. “So you can make the session available regardless of where the clinician goes. You can walk up to a workstation on wheels, maybe one in the ER, and your desktop appears.”

The company’s next step has been answering doctors’ and nurses’ calls to communicate with smartphones via text. Last year, Imprivata released Cortext, a free, HIPAA-compliant texting app for clinicians. Gaudet said that in the last six months, the company has had 1,000 clients start using the platform.

That, he noted, is reinforcement that the company is solving real problems in health IT: “There’s too many clicks,” he said. “Our whole design philosophy is removing the clicks.”