Imprivata Healthcare Innovation Award Finalists Series Spotlight on: Mercy Health System

Mae-ellen Gavin
Oct 16, 2012

We are pleased to recognize our inaugural 2012 Healthcare Innovation Award finalists, including Catholic Health Partners, Johns Hopkins, Memorial Healthcare, MedCentral Health System, Mercy Health System and Sanford Health, for their innovative application of Imprivata solutions to improve clinical workflow and increase productivity and data security. We will be spotlighting these finalists on our blog leading up to the November 8 announcement of the winner at Imprivata HealthCon 2012 User Conference.

Two years ago Mercy’s clinicians had 8-10 passwords they had to remember to access systems during a typical workday – and each password had different rules and expiration dates. Because their user passwords were neither centralized nor on a common expiration schedule, Mercy’s IT helpdesk received thousands of password reset calls over the course of a year. This was causing major headaches for the hospital’s care teams and IT department.

Mercy knew they needed to speed clinician access to both the Epic EMR and non-clinical applications, enabling clinicians to get in and out of patient charts quickly while securing the workstation for HIPAA compliance purposes. This is what inspired them to look into single sign-on (SSO). Off the bat Mercy knew that a SSO solution with support for biometric or dual-source authentication to ensure their providers would be able to meet regulatory requirements for electronic prescription of controlled medications was really important to them. Imprivata OneSign met all of their requirements.

OneSign simplifies the user’s login process to the tap of a keycard at the workstation, eliminating the need to type a username and password for accessing each application. Strong authentication secures protected health information, while single sign-on seamlessly logs clinicians into the Epic EMR and other applications so they spend less time waiting to access patient records and more time caring for patients.

Mercy’s IT team first rolled out OneSign to the business areas where users had more flexibility and the workflows were less complex. Next, they deployed OneSign in their system’s 31 clinics, then in ancillary departments like radiology and labs, and finally in all the inpatient areas. Their IT department spent about a half hour teaching non-inpatient clinical supervisors how to get users enrolled, gave them a Quick Start guide and a OneSign manual, and sent them off to train their staffs. On the inpatient side, the IT team provided a 15-minute SSO introduction during EpicCare training, which was all it took to bring users up to speed.

Clinician satisfaction is very high because SSO has improved workflows and delivered faster access to patient records. In fact, almost 95 percent of Mercy’s user population adopted OneSign voluntarily. Today they only have a handful of users who do not use SSO – mainly those who do not use PCs in their jobs.

Mercy continues to look to Imprivata to help them address new and emerging healthcare IT security needs in their health system.