OhioHealth’s Dublin Methodist Hospital goes paperless, providing secure access to digital information


  • 94 beds, exandable to 300 beds
  • 2,000 physicians




McKesson Horizon Expert, Horizon Emergency Care solutions


  • Comply with HIPAA
  • Increase clinician efficiency
  • Meet Ohio Board of Pharmacy mandates


  • Fast application and data access
  • Clinician efficiency and patient care improve
  • Strong authentication improves security

OhioHealth is a family of not-for-profit, faith-based hospitals and healthcare organizations. Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth’s newest facility, opened to the public in January 2008 featuring a breakthrough environment designed to be paperless as part of a mission to change healthcare.

The 94-bed facility, expandable to 300 beds, was conceived to be a healing environment—filled with natural light and family spaces—surrounded by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and staff focused entirely on patient care. The technology infrastructure was designed to support this goal by removing administrative distractions while providing uncompromised security

The business challenge

Upon arrival, patients are greeted by staff with wireless tablet computers replacing the traditional admissions desk. After this, the patients see only a few pieces of paper—a discharge document, consent for treatment forms and possibly a payment receipt (if requested).

According to Cheryl Herbert, RN, president of Dublin Methodist Hospital, “The internal and external environments have been designed to break-down the fear and intimidation of a hospital visit. The layout makes sense. Visitors and patients experience the more natural environment, which is more inviting.”

The design, construction and operation of the facility are already serving as the model for future hospitals—in the OhioHealth system and beyond. The technology infrastructure has extensive fail-safes, interconnectivity and redundancies to ensure the facility remains operational even in the event of a natural disaster.

With digital record keeping replacing extensive paper files common in most healthcare settings, security and ease-of-use were key considerations. For example, barcode technology ensures that proper medication levels are prescribed and administered to patients in the hospital to ensure accuracy and prevent medication mix-ups. This paperless system is expected to provide better patient safety than the commonly accepted—and more time consuming—paper-based systems.

Furthermore, legislation surrounding online prescription drug orders from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy required new levels of transactional authentication, meaning doctors must provide identifying credentials at the time of transaction in order to approve the prescription order.

The Imprivata OneSign solution

As part of the original design, specific security technologies were critical for Dublin Methodist. The hospital decided that Imprivata OneSign® Single Sign-On (SSO) would serve as the centerpiece of the digital authentication strategy. Imprivata OneSign® allows users to log in by either using a strong password or by scanning their finger in a biometric reader, which provides easy access. The hospital is also the first facility to utilize OneSign ProveID™, an extension of the Imprivata OneSign identity management platform, in conjunction with McKesson’s Horizon Expert Orders and Horizon Emergency Care solutions to meet the state’s requirement for transactional strong authentication.

Herbert says, “The technology for clinical applications, communications and administrative activities is second to none. We are thrilled about how well the people-friendly design and most advanced technology have come together here in Dublin.”

The results

Dublin Methodist has nearly 2,000 physicians, associates and staff using more than 150 applications. Utilizing Imprivata’s single sign-on solution from Day One, doctors, nurses and staff benefit from a streamlined login process without falling into previously-learned behaviors such as leaving computer sessions open for colleagues, or leaving passwordladen sticky notes on machines.

The Imprivata OneSign Platform also meets the state of Ohio Board of Pharmacy requirements for two-factor authentication in controlled drug prescription orders. The authentication requirements include countersigning, multifactor authentication or strong passwords to bolster security where compliance is most important—immediately prior to completing a transaction for controlled drugs. Imprivata OneSign’s ProveID provides the needed security by supporting all major forms of two-factor authentication, including fingerprint biometrics, one-time password (OTP) tokens and smart cards at the point of transaction, providing Dublin Methodist the security and reporting they need to ensure compliance with the state mandates.

“The opening of the Dublin Methodist all-digital facility reflects hard work and innovation from our staff, management and technology partners,” said Michael Krouse, senior vice president and chief information officer for OhioHealth. “While meeting the stipulations of the state and other regulating bodies has been an important marker for our progress, the end goal is always providing the best care in the safest environment for our patients. Imprivata has played an integral role in helping us meet that goal.”