Patient information can be accessed more efficiently

University
Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) is using a single sign-on system from US authentication specialist Imprivata.

Announced on Wednesday, the Trust claims that around 4,500 of it staff will be able to make use of Imprivata's single sign-on OneSign system which should enable them to access patient information more efficiently.

OneSign is an authentication and access management appliance which natively supports the NHS smart card as a factor for strong authentication, as well as proximity cards, one-time-password tokens, biometrics and physical access cards, Imprivata claims.

According to Ray Burdge, IT infrastructure manager at UHSM, before the new system was introduced, doctors and nursing staff were required to log out of a patient's record completely if one of their colleague's wanted to view the same information. “Using fast user switching, we can remove this overhead to improve efficiency, while making access easier for our staff – they can gain secure access to patient information in seconds,” he said.

The trust is also using the single sign-on system, implemented by IT services company Business Management Services, to replace the multiple passwords that staff previously had to remember for each application. The patient administration system (PAS), picture archiving and communications system (PACS), along with departmental packages such as radiology, are all now available via single sign-on.

Users enter their single sign-on network log-in and are automatically given access to the applications that they are authorised to use, the Trust claims.

The NHS claims to have issued more than 80,000 smart cards to its staff and maintains the devices are more secure than equivalent chip and pin debit or credit cards. The cards and readers provide NHS staff with a secure way of identifying themselves to access internal IT systems and applications.