New independent research reveals significant time and cost savings with single sign-on

As an emergency physician, I’ve been deeply impressed by the medical community’s response to the crisis conditions imposed by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Doctors and nurses have heroically responded to the call, and health systems have revised processes and deployed new technologies to allow clinicians to focus on their top priority: delivering patient care.

The COVID-19 crisis has served as a powerful reminder about the optimal role of healthcare technology: it is most valuable when it helps save clinicians time.

This is a critical truth. For my part, I have first-hand experience losing precious time each shift simply logging into clinical systems. Instead of helping, security measures like usernames and passwords too often pose barriers between clinicians and patients. Anything that gives time back to doctors and nurses should be embraced.

That’s why I’m thrilled that recent research has further validated the efficacy of single sign on (SSO) in giving time back to clinicians.

On October 28, Imprivata hosted a webinar with George Gellert, M.D., former regional and associate system chief medical information officer (CMIO) at CHRISTUS Health. This session highlighted two recent studies authored by Dr. Gellert – one published in The Journal of Hospital Administration, and another in The Journal of Nursing Administration. These studies explore the relationship between clinical systems and time spent at keyboard logins. The researchers examined 19 acute care facilities across the CHRISTUS Health network, measuring how much time clinicians were spending with keyboards at login with and without SSO.

The results? Implementation of SSO and virtual desktop access (VDA) resulted in an average 5.3-second decrease in clinical logins at the beginning of each shift. Meanwhile, times for subsequent (or “reconnect”) logins throughout their shift decreased by an average of 20.4 seconds. This resulted in annual time savings between 10,302 and 13,245 hours.

Thanks to SSO, that’s time back for doctors and nurses to spend with patients. It’s also savings for the health system’s bottom-line. If you factor in the average annual wage of clinical staff, the result is truly impressive: between $1.1M to $1.4M in financial value of time saved.

These findings are consistent with previous research from Imprivata, which has found that clinicians spend on average more than 45 minutes per shift logging into clinical systems, including workstations, virtual desktops, and applications. This inefficiency directly impacts the quality of patient care and can lead to clinical burnout. Several healthcare organizations now recognize that any unnecessary burden on clinicians, especially amidst a global pandemic, is simply unacceptable.

The research from Dr. Gellert’s team underscores the dramatic impact SSO technology can have on clinical workflows. By doing away with the reliance on usernames and passwords, SSO provides the measurable benefit of giving time back to clinicians. That time saved – in many cases hours per week – can now be spent with patients, increasing both patient and clinician satisfaction.

Click here to listen to a recording of this important webinar and learn how healthcare organizations are saving thousands of hours and millions of dollars by implementing SSO with Imprivata OneSign.