How identity governance can transform healthcare amid COVID-19 and beyond


Health IT Security teams need to deliver secure and immediate access to critical applications for frontline healthcare workers, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Identity Governance, deployed in the cloud, is a fast and compliant way Health IT teams can confidently manage and secure digital identity.

During a May 27 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Imprivata, industry leaders discussed how hospitals can accelerate provisioning by leveraging cloud capabilities. The discussion focused on Imprivata's identity governance solution hosted on Microsoft's Azure platform, for a comprehensive healthcare identity management system. 

The speakers were:

  • Wes Wright, Chief Technology Officer at Imprivata
  • Randy Nale, Modern Workplace Director with Microsoft 

Identity, authentication and access management are all critical to managing and securing trusted digital identities. Here are five key aspects of identity governance that healthcare organizations should know: 

1. The COVID-19 crisis is disrupting healthcare's already hypercomplex environment. As nonemergent care collapsed, telehealth and remote workforces skyrocketed. Though nonemergent care is increasing, Mr. Wright and Mr. Nale both believe telehealth and remote options will remain popular, though they did note that demand is partially dependent on CMS reimbursements. Telehealth advanced quickly as lessons were learned amid the crisis, enabling companies to lower costs and adjust to new regulations, according to Mr. Nale.

2. The increasing complexity is driving the need for digital identity, Mr. Wright explained. The need for access to applications for remote work or new locations ramped up quickly, while some clinicians have had to move into new or modified roles. Clinical workers may need access to different and critical applications that are associated with their changed roles, along with alternatives to in-person ID proofing requirements for electronic prescriptions. Healthcare professionals also need access via personal devices to accommodate remote work, while patients need access to care via mobile devices. 

3. Imprivata and Microsoft are enabling digital identity management for healthcare organizations, an important task amid the pandemic, Mr. Wright said. Even though Microsoft's identity platform is the most comprehensive digital identity ecosystem on the market, it is an even stronger tool for healthcare organizations when paired with Imprivata solutions, Mr. Nale said. "That's the beauty of the partnership; Imprivata is focused on the healthcare industry," Mr. Nale explained. The digital identity solutions enhance workflow and allow technology to function in a way that transforms healthcare.

4. Healthcare organizations favoring cloud-hosted solutions can take advantage of Imprivata Identity Governance on Microsoft's Azure platform. The solution easily and efficiently grants new users appropriate access rights based on their roles, while also maintaining audit trails for compliance and security when managing digital identities. Imprivata’s expertise is in deep provisioning into healthcare-specific applications, such as electronic health records and legacy clinical applications.

5. Imprivata and Microsoft acknowledge that identity governance and administration (IGA) is a journey. They also recognize the need for Health IT Security leaders to show quick return on investment. Implementing Imprivata Identity Governance can be done without a multi-year engagement with an external consultant, completely remotely, and using a proven phased approach that delivers tangible ROI at every step.

To learn more about Imprivata, click here. To listen to the full webinar, click here.

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