Enabling fast, secure EPCS, remote network access, and other clinical workflows with the Imprivata authentication platform

Key facts

Industry: Healthcare
Location: Louisiana
Employees: 1,799
EHR: Epic

Challenges

  • Allowing users to access the network remotely simply with username and password presented a potential security risk
  • Using paper prescriptions for controlled substances decreased patient safety and satisfaction while creating inefficient dual prescribing workflows for providers
  • Requiring users to type complex passwords when logging into workstations and clinical applications frustrated providers and detracted from patient care

 

Results

  • Improved security with two-factor authentication for remote access
  • Fast, secure, and DEA-compliant electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS)
  • Streamlined clinical access by replacing passwords with simple the tap of a proximity badge
  • Consistent authentication and access experience from a single, centralized platform 

 

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) is one of the largest health systems in Louisiana, with nearly 1,800 beds. FMOLHS primarily serves the Baton Rouge area, which includes about 40% of the population of Louisiana.

FMOLHS endeavors to provide the very best care possible – a goal that has stressed a partnership between the IT and clinical teams to ensure that implemented technology supports the prompt and efficient delivery of care. The challenge for the IT team at FMOLHS is how to achieve this goal while also ensuring security of patient information and other hospital data. 

“With technology, any time you add another layer of security that adds another click or another second to a provider’s workflow, it can be frustrating and take time away from patient care,” says Gaylon Stockman, former CISO at FMOLHS. “We’re trying to ease the burden for clinicians – to minimize disruption to their workflows – so that they’re able to concentrate on the patient.”

Stockman and his team knew that any security solutions they put in place needed to be as seamless as possible, or else clinicians wouldn’t adopt it. This challenge presented itself when the team was tasked with streamlining a number of different authentication workflows across the enterprise – both inside and outside. Specifically, they needed to solve for:

  • Slow, cumbersome user access to desktops, applications, and patient information caused by the need to repeatedly type complex passwords
  • Unsecure remote network access
  • Inefficient dual prescribing workflows  

As the team considered the different clinical, business, and IT systems, applications, and workflows where user authentication was needed, it became clear that solving all their challenges from a single platform would be ideal.

“From an ease of use perspective,” says Stockman, “Using one, single access and authentication platform made sense. Again, we want to minimize disruption to providers’ workflows, and a consistent experience helps with adoption and continued use.”

With those needs in mine, the team at FMOLHS determined that the Imprivata authentication platform would be able to solve for each of their identified problem areas – all while ensuring security of the enterprise and patient information.

Fast, secure access to roaming desktops 

The team at FMOLHS knew that they needed to streamline clinical access workflows so that care providers would be able to quickly and securely access desktops, applications, and patient information.

For their clinical access needs, FMOLHS looked to Imprivata OneSign®, which has enabled No Click Access® to information, reducing clicks and time spent on technology. By eliminating the need to repeatedly type in usernames and passwords, Imprivata OneSign has allowed providers to quickly and securely access clinical applications and desktops.

With Imprivata OneSign, care providers at FMOLHS are able to move around the hospital and still be able to access their desktop just the way they left it.

“This roaming or ‘follow me’ concept allows clinicians to move around and be able to log in anywhere they are,” says Chris Bowers, Director of Infrastructure and Technology at FMOLHS. “They can move to another terminal that’s not busy and they can log back in – and they’re back right where they started.”

Care providers truly appreciated that they could access their desktops from anywhere, spend less time with technology, and, most importantly, focus on patient care.

Secure, convenient, and DEA-compliant authentication for EPCS

In keeping with the desire to avoid disrupting – or unnecessarily complicating – clinical workflows, the team at FMOLHS looked to solve for the prescribing of controlled substances. Care providers were stuck with dual prescribing workflows — paper for controlled substances and electronic prescribing for all other medications — which was inefficient and frustrating to both clinicians and patients. 

Imprivata Confirm ID™ for EPCS helps FMOLHS eliminate the need for dual workflows and enables the fast, consistent electronic prescribing for all medications. Imprivata Confirm ID delivers an end-to-end solution for meeting the DEA requirements for EPCS, including identity proofing, credential issuance, logical access control, two-factor authentication, and reporting. Imprivata Confirm ID also integrates seamlessly within the Epic EPCS workflow, and offers the broadest set of DEA-compliant authentication options, ensuring a fast, convenient workflow for providers. 

“The speed and ease of use and access was critical to adoption,” Stockman says. “The use of push token notification, which is one in a broad range of authentication options supported by Imprivata Confirm ID, helped with that tremendously, because all the user has to do is pick up their cellphone and hit approve.”

With Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS, FMOLHS saw:

  • A reduction in paper prescriptions and dual prescribing workflows
  • Improved provider workflow efficiency
  • Increased patient satisfaction

“After we implemented Imprivata Confirm ID for EPCS, our e-prescribing rates went up across the board because clinicians were able to e-prescribe both controlled and non-controlled substances electronically,” Stockman says. “And patients liked it because the process helped improve their experience.”

Securing remote access

While FMOLHS uses Imprivata OneSign to help streamline access inside the hospital, Stockman and his team wanted to be able to provide secure access to for users outside the hospital. Fortifying networks and systems was critical to ensure the continued security of patient and enterprise information. 

To meet this need, FMOLHS selected Imprivata Confirm ID for Remote Access, which offers the same authentication methods used for EPCS to deliver a consistent, simple, and familiar user experience. 

“With Imprivata Confirm ID for Remote Access, we’re trying to ease the burden for clinicians,” Stockman says. “We have put security technology and controls in place that are behind the scenes as much as they can be because we’re requiring the user to do something additional. Imprivata Confirm ID helps to make that additional layer of security almost invisible.”

With Imprivata Confirm ID for Remote Access in place, FMOLHS has been able to secure access to networks and systems, and have been able to hold everyone – full time care providers and contractors alike – to the same security and authentication standards. 

A comprehensive platform

Together, Imprivata OneSign and Imprivata Confirm ID form the Imprivata authentication platform, which helps to streamline access and authentication workflows across the healthcare enterprise.

Imprivata solutions are purpose-built for the healthcare environment and stress the importance of both security and convenience. With clinical workflows in mind, the Imprivata authentication platform makes security nearly invisible, which helps with adoption. 

“For us, the Imprivata authentication platform was a logical solution,” Stockman says. “We didn’t want to require users to use multiple multifactor authentication and access applications that they had to contend with – we wanted consistency and uniformity across the board.”

 

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