Digital ID is the new Control Plane in Healthcare

Digital identity (ID) used to be the new perimeter, but that’s already outdated thinking. According to Joy Chik, Corporate Vice President, Identity Division at Microsoft, Digital ID is the new control plane, not just for users, but for everyone and everything. And at Imprivata we believe that this is certainly true for the re-imagined healthcare sector that we see today.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced healthcare providers of all shapes and sizes to mobilise their workforces, often in a matter of days, people that once would never have dreamt they could work remotely are now working from home. Patients and doctors are benefiting from video consultations, and telehealth is now a reality, thanks in some part to Imprivata Confirm ID for Remote Access and GroundControl ID Governance.


NHS Mobilisation has been fast-tracked

In the UK NHS Trusts have achieved in days and weeks, transformations and uptake of technology what would otherwise have taken upwards of five years to complete under more ordinary circumstances. The feedback we have received from clinicians and admin staff alike has been remarkable. As with the building of the Nightingale Hospitals, it is amazing what the NHS can deliver in times of adversity.

However, now is not the time to slap ourselves on the back, there is still a job (or many!) to be done. As the pandemic ebbs, and the general population drifts back to work and more normal life, we can review the enormous steps forward in digital transformation, and solidify the progress made.


Digital ID at the heart of Digital Transformation

Digital ID has proven to be pivotal in enabling the enormous changes we have seen taking place in healthcare. Digital ID used to be simply a matter of a clinician sitting at desk and logging in with a smartcard to gain access to all the different applications that they need to do their job. With mobile and remote working the situation has become hyper-complex. In order to meet the demands of the COVID-19 outbreak, not only were many clinicians and care workers redeployed to where they were most needed, many thousands of doctors and nurses rejoined the workforce. All of these people needed to be furnished with the correct credentials and login details to access the systems they needed for their new jobs. At the same time, many staff started to work from home, or from different locations, using different devices (home PCs, laptops, zero clients, tablets and smartphones) to access clinical systems, all of which require slightly different applications.


Managing & securing Digital ID is more important than ever

In the rush to provision staff for new roles in new locations, it’s important to manage the process. For security and compliance purposes, we need to maintain a log of who has access to what and to revise access to systems as peoples’ roles change. This is where role-based identity streamlines the entire process ensuring that healthcare organisations are able to track who had access to which devices and to sensitive patient data at any point in time.

Imprivata identity, authentication and access management enables secure, trusted digital ID which includes:

  • Role based access to quickly onboard clinical and support staff
  • Fast provisioning of application access to accommodate staffing surges and changing roles
  • Enabling secure access for remote workers
  • Enabling fast access to shared mobile devices for clinical and patient use
  • Maintaining audit trails for compliance and security


Tales from the Frontline – Digital ID in practice

Our recent webinar that was part of the HTN Digital Week discusses the importance of Digital ID in more detail, and gives examples of how Digital ID supports the three critical priorities:

  • Reducing contamination by minimising physical interaction with computers and devices
  • Increases staff efficiency with less time spent on non-clinical activities
  • Maximises accessibility to patient data with reduced login times and streamlined access to applications

Our Chief Technology Officer Wes Wright, and Clinical Workflow Specialist Dan Johnston, give some enlightening examples of how Digital ID is being used to transform NHS Trusts and healthcare organisations around the world.

View the webinar here: