New HIMSS Analytics Report Finds that Canadian Hospitals are Facing Data Access and Workflow Efficiency Challenges

Commissioned by Imprivata, Research Highlights Benefits of Single Sign-On, Authentication and Virtualization Technology to Simplify Clinical Workflows and Enable Secure Access to Patient Information

Lexington, Mass.—May 20, 2013—Imprivata®, a leading global provider of healthcare IT security solutions, today announced the availability of a new report from HIMSS Analytics that outlines the data access and workflow efficiency challenges Canadian hospitals face as they continue to implement electronic health record (EHR) systems. Titled “Streamlining Workflows and Access to Patient Data in Canadian Hospitals,” the study, commissioned by Imprivata, specifies how EHR adoption can impact workflow efficiency and data access, and identifies single sign-on (SSO) technology as one of the solutions to streamline access to clinical systems and patient information. Imprivata is available to discuss the findings of this study and to demonstrate the features and benefits of Imprivata OneSign® in booth #108 during e-Health 2013 Conference (May 26-29, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).

“Canadian hospitals continue to move from paper-based to electronic medical records in an effort to increase efficiency and improve patient care. However, this transition introduces potential data access and clinical workflow challenges,” said Ed Gaudet, chief marketing officer at Imprivata. “The HIMSS Analytics study shows that Canadian healthcare IT administrators recognize these challenges and are turning to SSO, authentication and virtualization solutions to address them. Research like this validates how solutions such as those provided by Imprivata, can help eliminate barriers to accessing electronic patient information, directly improving care delivery and enabling healthcare organizations to realize the full potential and benefits of their EHR deployments.”

The study is based on interviews conducted with 12 IT executives from hospitals in nine provinces and territories throughout Canada. Several key barriers to enabling clinicians to seamlessly access patient data are identified in the study, including:

  • Lack of integration between electronic systems—According to IT administrators interviewed for this study, clinicians typically face data access challenges when trying to access information from across diverse care settings. Clinicians are often required to launch the provincial system through the organization’s EHR, which involves entering separate log-in credentials, adding time and decreasing workflow efficiency.
  • Frequent inability to access information quickly— Many participants in the study noted that clinicians were frequently unable to get to the data they needed as quickly as they wanted to, primarily because multiple log-ins are required for clinicians to access systems or information. In addition to inhibiting clinicians from accessing data quickly, this also presents a challenge because caregivers are forced to remember multiple different passwords and log-in credentials that need to be changed frequently to meet security requirements.
  • Privacy and security concerns—Another challenge to data access cited in this study is the ability to enable access while ensuring security and data privacy. Specific challenges identified include the presence of generic log-in credentials that are used by multiple clinicians as well as caregivers forgetting to log out of a system after use. The study also found that security requirements often mandate that sessions lock after a certain amount of time, which can frustrate clinicians who are engaging with a patient as it disrupts the care process.

“Our research indicates that hospitals across Canada are facing challenges when it comes to enabling fast, secure access to systems and information, especially as they transition to digitized health systems,” said Jennifer Horowitz, senior director, research for HIMSS Analytics.  “The health IT administrators we spoke with make it clear that organizations must address workflow efficiently issues to ensure that IT is not adding to the time that clinicians need to access information, enabling them to maximize time spent on patient care. Importantly, IT and administrative staffs must involve clinicians in the decision-making process when it comes to implementing new technologies to ensure that workflow efficiency and the ability to deliver high-quality patient care is not sacrificed.”

To address these challenges and enable fast, secure access to clinical systems and patient information, IT administrators identify SSO as a viable solution. Many participants say their organization is currently using or testing SSO, or they are considering the technology for future implementation. The research finds that SSO, especially when combined with authentication management, could effectively enable clinicians to access all their key resources, including the EHR system and other applications. Participants note that this would optimize clinicians’ time and ultimately enhance the quality of patient care.

About Imprivata

Imprivata, the leader in healthcare IT security, enables secure access and collaboration for two million healthcare users worldwide. As the #1 independent provider of single sign-on and access management solutions for healthcare and other regulated industries, Imprivata OneSign® Single Sign-On is exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association (AHA) and recognized by Gartner and KLAS. Imprivata Cortext® is the leading free HIPAA compliant text messaging solution for healthcare. Headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, Imprivata serves 1,300 hospitals in partnership with over 200 EMR and technology infrastructure vendors around the world. For more information, please visit

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