Logging in, signing into works stations should be easier | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

Doctors and nurses in the United States are often over worked and extremely busy running between patients and rooms. They frequently need to access systems and applications on numerous computers and workstations, and need to do so quickly in order to view important patient data. Something as simple as logging in could become a headache when it needs to be done multiple times on each computer and becomes more complicated if the credentials are forgotten or the practitioner is locked out.

In addition to being inconvenient, this also leads to systems and applications being un-secure since users may write down their passwords or share accounts with other users.

Not only does this reduce efficiency and security, it also cost hospitals and healthcare organizations a great deal of money.  To deal with password issues, they need to have help desk staff available at all times. It also means lost money in productivity time spent waiting to access patient data. One recent study found that time spent dealing with these issues was said to “add up to a productivity loss of $900,000 per year for the typical hospital — or more than $5.1 billion annually across the health care industry.”

Healthcare organizations need to reduce the headache associated with password issues and increase efficiency for clinicians. Simple solutions, such as single sign-on or self-service reset password software, can easily mitigate these issues. A single sign-on solution allows clinicians to have a single set of credentials to log on to a computer or workstation with. Once they log in once, they will automatically be signed into all authorized systems and applications once they are launched. Some software providers offer additional benefits such as fast user switching and “Follow Me.”

Fast user switching simplifies the log in process even further by requiring users to only insert a pass card to gain access. In addition, Follow Me allows users who have opened applications on Citrix and/or Terminal Server to continue their work on another computer. This results in considerable time savings, particularly in the case of specialists who make their rounds among departments.

Self-service password reset software also can greatly assist clinicians. This software allows end users to simply answer a few security questions and have the ability to reset their own passwords without having to contact the helpdesk. For example, South County Hospital in Wakefield, Rhode Island, was one such organization that implemented this type of solution.

Its helpdesk averaged between 20 to 25 password resets a month, each requiring about half an hour to complete. This was time consuming for both the clinician and the helpdesk. Doctors and nurses had to wait to continue with their work until their passwords were reset. With a self-service reset password solution, doctors and nurses can now easily reset their own passwords and get on with their work.

Solutions such as these can save hospitals tons of money and time wasted on password issues. Hospitals and healthcare organizations need to stay current with technology, especially that which can have a great positive impact on both their employees and patients.