Shannon Medical Center Makes the Switch from Caradigm to Imprivata and Gains a Strategic Healthcare Partner

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Shannon Medical Center has served the San Angelo, Texas community for more than 80 years. The 400-bed hospital is the largest locally based health care provider for the Concho Valley and surrounding region. It is part of Shannon Health, an integrated system of seven complexes that bring healthcare to a 20-county region in West Texas. Shannon Medical Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and has approximately 12,000 admissions, more than 1,000 births, more than 100,000 outpatient visits and nearly 50,000 emergency room visits annually. In addition, it is the designated lead level three trauma center for the region and has a nationally recognized intensive care unit.


As part of their long-term healthcare IT strategy, Shannon Medical Center needed a single sign-on (SSO) and authentication management solution that would integrate with their EMR system and enable fast, secure access to patient information. They chose to implement expreSSO from Sentillion, now part of Caradigm, as their SSO solution.

Shannon Medical Center ran into a series of challenges that were exacerbated when Microsoft acquired Sentillion and later spun the technology off to Caradigm. Along with wasting clinician’s time that is better spent improving patient care, specific technical issues included: 

Lack of an upgrade path for expreSSO without purchasing an expensive Microsoft services engagement

Problems with support for Windows 7, on which Shannon Medical had standardized

Limited support for VMware View and no support for virtualizing desktops with zero clients

No central repository for fingerprints, which meant the expreSSO solution needed to be registered on every device using it

“Not long after deploying expreSSO from Sentillion, we realized we had made a mistake. The limited functionality, lack of a clear product roadmap and poor technical support made it clear that it was time for a change,” said Tom Perkins, chief information officer at Shannon Medical Center. “We knew we needed to be working with the market leader, Imprivata.


“What we found in Imprivata was a team of people who really understood our healthcare IT environment. We knew that they could not only solve our immediate problems with expreSSO, but that they’d be there for us for the long term,” said Tom Perkins. 

Very quickly after transitioning to Imprivata OneSign®, Shannon’s IT and clinical staff began to realize the marked benefits as compared with expreSSO. For instance, OneSign offered a far superior integration for enabling desktop virtualization with McKesson Paragon and VMware. By integrating Imprivata OneSign with VMware View, healthcare providers can quickly and securely access their personal desktops from any location with the simple tap of a badge or swipe of a fingerprint. They can also immediately access their personal desktop from any location, which significantly optimizes clinical workflows.

In addition, clinicians are not required to remember usernames and passwords for multiple applications. Imprivata No Click Access® allows them to focus more of their time on patient care. This also increases clinician satisfaction. 

“Our decision to implement a new SSO technology was doctor-driven, but our nurses love it as well,” said Perkins. “Now they only need to register their fingerprints once and they work everywhere. This helps reduce errors by eliminating the chance of another clinician coming in once a login has taken place and checking in under the wrong ID. We previously had to perform corrections to fix these errors. OneSign also allows us to login more easily, so we’re more confident their authentication is correct.”

“The IT and clinical staff has been very pleased with Imprivata, especially since we now have Windows 7 and the VMware View support we needed,” said Perkins. Imprivata is truly a partner for us. Given their superior technology and their high-quality customer service, I don’t think there is another SSO or authentication management solution that I would recommend.”



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