How can hospitals do remote access securely?

Wes Wright
Apr 21, 2020

When COVID-19 broke out in earnest, hospitals and other employers told everybody to go home and work remotely. I’m doing the WFH drill right now. We’re all scrambling to get things done in this new environment, and not everybody has a clear sense of how to proceed. But one thing I can tell you as you realign your systems for a remote workforce: don’t forget security.

Imprivata, of course, knows about security for the healthcare industry. That’s why we gave away a bunch of licenses for our technology solutions to help during the COVID-19 crisis. We set it up so healthcare systems can use these solutions to enroll from either on premises or off using just a username and password. You can do that, but I’d recommend you take it one step further for those enrolling from off-premises and use a combination of username/password and temporary codes. That way you can feel good about letting your folks enroll; even from a remote location.

One system that took us up on this offer was Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, VA. Facing a spike in the numbers of staff working remotely, CHKD took advantage of our offer of free use of Imprivata Confirm ID so their clinicians can work securely from anywhere. This provides secure remote access and lets their healthcare professionals work remotely in quarantine. The multifactor authentication feature secures protected health information (PHI) and safeguards against unauthorized access.

This is just one way customers are using Imprivata to mitigate risk and manage response. The advent of COVID-19 has disrupted the already hyper-complex healthcare environment. The challenge now is providing secure access to shared clinical and mobile devices, while still having access to critical apps that’re necessary.

Managing and securing our digital identity is just as important as ever. In the face of the crisis, it’s tempting to just set up technology for expedience and to accommodate the surge in staff. But be conscious of security – digital identity remains at the core of what we’re doing and when we’re doing it. That way, we can help get the right people the right access to the right applications – safely and securely.

In these crisis times, that’s more important than ever.