Single Sign On is Saving Clinician’s time at NHS Scotland

Single sign on is saving clinician time with efficient ICT and is central in improving patient care and outcomes. As technology continues to evolve, digital services and tools are playing a big part in the NHS.

Digital services allow clinicians to access health information when and where it is needed, ensuring patients receive care quicker and frees up staff time while reducing medical errors.

NHS Scotland are already using single sign on

At Whitehall Media’s 8th biannual Identity Management conference held in central London, Mark Quinn, the National Single Sign On (SSO) Manager at NHS Fife, spoke about how identity and access management (IAM) is giving real time, real benefits to thousands of NHS staff.

With over 140,000 staff at NHS Scotland, Quinn explained that the identity management systems involved are enormous:

“Scalability is a massive task for us.”

One of the main problems – time – riddled previous IAM projects which had not allowed NHS clinicians to make efficient use of ICT usage. With generic logins routinely used, and multiple functions and applications, each staff member can easily be required to remember 15 passwords.

Quicker access to patient records for 50,000 staff

In 2010, NHS Fife took a phased approach with SSO being foundational towards a federated identity.

Single sign on makes it easier and faster to gain access to patient records, as well as other functions. Quinn claims over 50,000 staff use SSO and have access to over 300 applications.

The results are palpable, says Quinn, with upwards of 50 hours of time saved every week at NHS Fife from just logging in (7 seconds per login are saved).

The future of identity management and single sign on however has some way to go.

“The future is single shared identity – so [that in future] a doctor can go from Fife to Edinburgh, to Inverness and Aberdeen and log in as themselves without having to go back to [the] IT [department to request login access].”

Looking to the future, Quinn said he hoped for better uptake of SSO and better management of identities with the increasing use of mobile and tablet technology.

Based on his own work at NHS Scotland, Quinn concluded:

“The process of change and technologies that this conference is highlighting does have a real effect.”

Whitehall Media is grateful to its speakers for sharing their unique insights, and will be holding its 9th biannual Identity Management conference on 18 June 2014 at the Hotel Russell in central London. Check for the latest conference agenda.