We’ve often talked about the hundreds of systems that a hospital organization must support. Yes, we often forget about 99 of them because we’re so focused on the enormous EHR software. However, the end users of those systems don’t forget about those other systems. This is particularly true when an organization hasn’t implemented a well done single sign-on solution with strong authentication. Considering the multiple login complaints I still hear from so many people, I think that includes a lot of you.
The authentication and single sign-on experts at Imprivata have put together this pretty comprehensive whitepaper on Single Sign-On and Strong Authentication. As is usually the case, there’s so much more to it than most people think about on face.
Take for example just the list of leading authentication methods:
- Strong Passwords
- ID Tokens
- Smart Cards
- Passive Proximity Cards
- Active Proximity Cards
Of course, with all of this I’m still waiting for the day when we have a biometrically controlled experience at a hospital. We’re getting there. Hopefully before that organizations will have figured out all the single sign-on issues we’re still dealing with today.
The best reason to invest in a single sign-on solution is security. Sure, there are some arguments that a single sign on option is less secure because one login can get you into everything. This is mitigated to some degree with two factor authentication. However, even if it is the case, it’s still more secure than a nurse having 20 logins which leads to them writing their usernames and passwords on a sticky note next to their computer. Single sign-on almost completely solves this security problem.
How is your organization approaching single sign-on?