Single Sign-On Addresses Clinical Workflow Challenges in Canadian Hospitals

James Millington
Jun 25, 2013

While the healthcare systems may differ considerably between U.S. and Canada, healthcare providers in both countries face the same challenges when it comes to simplifying access to clinical systems and patient information.

Hospitals in Canada may not be required to comply with HIPAA, but data security and patient privacy are certainly best practices. So, too, is providing doctors, nurses and other care givers with fast, easy access to the information and technologies they need to enable better focus on patient care. This sets up a similar challenge facing hospitals in the U.S.—how to balance security and patient privacy with convenience and ease-of-use for clinicians, especially as the industry moves from paper-based to Electronic Health Records (EHRs).  

To better understand the data access and workflow efficiency challenges Canadian hospitals face as they implement EHR systems, HIMSS Analytics conducted in-depth interviews with 12 IT executives from hospitals in nine provinces and territories throughout Canada.

The resulting report, titled Streamlining Workflows and Access to Patient Data in Canadian Hospital, specifies how EHR adoption can impact workflow efficiency and data access. As one interviewee noted, the restrictions in place surrounding electronic data are highly restrictive compared to a paper-based environment. In general, the IT administrators interviewed by HIMSS Analytics cited several key barriers to data access, including the lack of integration between electronic systems, the frequent inability to access information quickly and privacy and security concerns.

The report also identifies single sign-on (SSO) as one of the solutions to streamline access to clinical systems and patient information. In fact, according to HIMSS Analytics data, the use of SSO technology in Canadian hospitals has grown 80 percent in the past five years. The majority of IT practitioners interviewed for this particular study said their organizations are currently using or testing SSO, or they are considering the technology for future implementation.

Participants in the research find that SSO, especially when combined with authentication management, could effectively enable clinicians to access all their key resources, including the EMR system and other applications, which would optimize clinicians’ time and ultimately enhance the quality of patient care.

If you are interested in learning more about this study and how SSO can help simplify workflow and data access in Canadian hospitals, we encourage you to register for a Webinar that Imprivata will host on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 12 p.m. EDT.