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Simple password management and strong authentication for NHS Trust.

Imprivata : 01 November, 2007  (Application Story)
OneSign from Imprivata combined with smart card system in health service to satisfy strong authentication requirements with simple password management.
Imprivata has announced that Tameside and Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust has begun rolling out password management and strong authentication using its OneSign appliance. The deployment has already gone into production use in the Trust's Radiology department, and will be implemented across the rest of the organisation during the next six months. Working with Imprivata and partner BMS, the Trust will gain increased control and management over user credentials, greater audit capabilities and a reduction in password management workload for its IT services desk. On completion, the Trust's 1000 employees will benefit by not being locked out of applications due to forgotten passwords and overall improvement of workflows.

Following a successful demonstration and pilot phase, the Trust has begun roll-out of single sign-on and strong authentication to its staff. The implementation will cover both clinical and non-clinical employees. Nurses, doctors and consultants across the organisation will use the NHS National Smart Card as their factor for strong authentication and once they are logged in, employees are securely and automatically signed into all their authorised applications.

Geoff Berry, Assistant Director of IT for Tameside and Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust said, "The Trust was faced with a growing password management problem: staff had a large number of different log-ins to remember and this was becoming an issue for them. This was also a problem for our IT Services Desk: a significant amount of the calls being handled were specifically related to password reset requests. We wanted to solve this in a way that would also improve our ability to audit user activity and prove that security policies are being followed. By using Imprivata OneSign and the NHS smart card together, we have removed these issues from the Radiology department, and we can't wait to complete the roll-out of this project across the rest of the Trust."

The OneSign appliance is already proving its worth to the Trust. Tameside has recently gone live with an electronic Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) in its Radiology department as part of the National Program for IT. While using digital images instead of traditional x-ray films was both more convenient and easier for staff, there was a problem due to the number of application passwords and change requests that were required to keep the system secure.

"To view images, staff would have to access four different systems as part of the workflow, each with its own username and password. Logging into these separate applications could be time-consuming, and one forgotten log-in would prevent access to the whole system. Using OneSign, the Trust has eliminated this issue: clinical staff and patients now get the full benefits of the new PACS system, while overall security of data is enhanced," continued Berry.

Imprivata OneSign is an identity and access management appliance that is designed to meet the security needs of organisations of all sizes. OneSign provides a unique way for NHS Trusts to integrate the NHS Connecting for Health smart card to provide strong authentication support across all applications, local and national. The appliance also supports other forms of authentication including biometric readers, proximity cards, one-time password tokens and building access cards.

"Protecting patient data is a crucial activity for all organisations within the National Health Service, but using passwords to do this is not delivering the security required and also interferes with staff giving the level of care they would like," said Omar Hussain, CEO, Imprivata. "OneSign can take away the low-level pain of forgotten passwords through enterprise single sign-on, and the appliance delivers additional value to the organisation through its auditing and reporting capabilities. The level of convenience that users get from OneSign leads to a return on investment on top of the immediate reduction in password reset requests and ultimately, this delivers better service to patients and a higher return for the Trust."
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