Identity Management Solution Transforms User Access for Hospital

by | Apr 9, 2019

When a leading operator of acute care hospitals became fed up with their inefficient IT provisioning systems and growing user dissatisfaction, they turned to GCA and Micro Focus for help. With a limited Identity & Access Management (IAM) solution in place, they were struggling to provision new users quickly, which bogged down their valuable providers and staff.

Our client was in need of some real help. As the leading operator of acute care hospitals in the U.S., they were managing access for over 218,000 IT users. Adding to the complexity, they were regularly acquiring new hospitals, and their IT staff was struggling to keep up with on/offboarding requests, password changes and ad hoc, user-access requests across multiple applications. Their existing manual processes involved extensive paper trails that were routed via fax for approval from numerous departments.  It all added up to disappointing delays that affected their ability to provide patient care.

With their existing system, it took an average of three weeks for new users to be granted access to applications. To work around this delay, users were sharing passwords so they could perform routine tasks. This activity compounded our client’s risk of data breach, and lost productivity was costing them millions of dollars a year.  Password changes were another area for improvement, as there were no self-service tools available to help expedite requests. The client’s Help Desk team was overloaded with more than 8,000 “password help” tickets each month.  Our client had an existing Micro Focus (NetIQ) Identity Manager solution in place, but was only using a fraction of its functionality. They were a perfect candidate for an automated Identity & Access Management solution.

GCA’s experienced consultants started this complex project by leveraging a methodical approach. In this case, the client performed their own assessment of their environment, applications and IAM infrastructure and shared their findings with us. Then, our team performed a complete review of their existing workflows for access approvals, to identify gaps and ensure automated provisioning could be enabled.

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We invested considerable time up front to understand the client’s goals for the project. It was clear that their top priorities were to maintain users’ digital identity data and condense access provisioning methods to improve data consistency and enhance security — as well as provide a better user experience.  We developed a four-phased project blueprint that included automated user provisioning and password self-service functionality, to meet the client’s requirements.  Considerable attention was given to plans to connect the existing IAM tools to their clinical applications from Allscripts, Cerner, Healthcare Management Systems (HMS), Keane, McKesson and Meditech.  Our team also performed a hardware assessment and developed comprehensive infrastructure plans to scale the software tools to the client’s massive number of users.

GCA’s consultants worked closely with the client’s IT security team to design workflows and entitlements to enable automated provisioning that aligned to their goals for this complex project. Our team then developed connectors to join the client’s numerous clinical applications from Allscripts, Cerner, Healthcare Management Systems, Keane, McKesson and Meditech to the IAM tools.  With automated IAM in place, the client’s on/offboarding and user modification processes were completely transformed.  The results of the IAM program exceeded their wildest expectations.

Implementing The Right Identity Management Solution: The Results

Their user-onboarding process was reduced from three weeks to an average of 10 minutes, and the time to modify or deprovision users was minimized from 24 hours to under four minutes.  In addition, the enhanced IAM also created a paper trail that was valuable to our client’s internal Audit & Compliance team. With defined workflows in place, data collection for audits was greatly simplified. The new password self-service tools were also a rousing success. The new tools prevented approximately 100,000 help desk tickets annually, and freed the client’s IT team to transition to other areas to support their growing technology needs as they acquired new hospitals.

The numerous positive outcomes of this complex project outpaced all of our client’s goals. The new efficiencies for their 218,000+ users resulted in millions of dollars in annual cost savings, a more productive and satisfied workforce, and positioned them for ongoing success managing user access in their growing organization.

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