Identity and Access Management in Health Care

Posted by Dustin Eubanks on Wed, Jan 09, 2013

Identity and access management in healthcarePrior to The Dot Net Factory, I spent over six years helping healthcare organizations implement software solutions.  During that time I helped doctors, frontline care workers, financial staff, even maintence staff to replace paper documentation systems with electronic documentation solutions.  Now my time in Identity & Access Management (IAM) has helped me to bridge the gap between healthcare and IAM.  Here is a list of common complaints that I heard in the healthcare world:

  • Why do I need another system to log into or remember a password?
  • Who will setup the permissions for the solution – with HIPAA requirements they must be accurate and up to date?
  • What if I am locked out and I need access now?

Another Password or Another Sign in!

As a healthcare professional your job first and foremost is to care for your patients, individuals, & residents.  This means that making sure that Sally gets her medications is your first priority but unfortunately if it doesn’t get documented then it didn’t happen which can setup you up for a costly error that can mean legal or survey errors in the future.  Then what if you need to check her blood pressure before giving the medications and that needs to be input to a vital system?  Now we have two systems that need to be accessed to input one interaction with a patient. 

Enter – SSO (single sign on), now staff can log into Windows, an EHR, or any other trusted app once and then EmpowerID handles the heavy lifting of making sure everyone get access to all of the apps you need without logging in again.

Providing the Right Access

You are a complicated healthcare entity.  You may have a doctor’s office, skilled nursing homes, a hospital, or you provide home healthcare.  You could also be one entity with several wings or units.  Your staff needs access to only what they need and nothing more in every system to avoid HIPPA concerns. 

EmpowerID's Role Based Access Control (RBAC) engine can pull from your HR system to assign the right access to the right people because we know that Sally is a Nurse Supervisor on the Alzheimer’s unit.  Those two things tell us who she manages, what she controls, and what she needs access to.  Your healthcare apps already filter by service location or healthcare unit.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have EmpowerID put them into the correct place at the correct time? 

Access Now!

Your patient is complaining of extreme pain and we must move him from outpatient service to the emergency room, now!  You are ready to take him but you know his daughter was in just earlier today and she needs to be contacted. You need to access your patient’s emergency contact information to see his daughter’s contact information and right as you go to access it you realize that you ignored your email that said your password would expire about 10 minutes ago (of all the moments). 

This particular app doesn’t support self-service password reset  so you have to submit a ticket or call the help desk to get access.  Or even worse you know a friends password or you can have your friend access the information for you (even though it is your patient and not his!).  With EmpowerID’s Password Manager we can give you the tools to reset the password on the fly.  And if you reset your password once it will push the change to all of your apps.  You will answer a series of questions that only you know the answer to; the best part is that EmpowerID can force you to enroll in the password reset system..  This ensures that when you are in this bind you are setup to take care of it quickly. 

These are only a few scenarios but Healthcare systems require so much complicated access and are used so frequently and with so much urgency that access has to be easy on your workers.  Anything from clocking in through one app to giving patients access to their health record from another app or accessing a client’s medication allergies makes things more of a challenge.  That is why our full IAM suite allows you to address one issue or all of them through one platform.

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Tags: Identity and Access Management (IAM)