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Improving Clinician Satisfaction and EMR Adoption at Norman Regional

Norman Regional Health System



Norman Regional Health System is a multi-campus system in south central Oklahoma. With a large number of clinicians spread across three facilities and multiple clinics, the health system wanted to streamline its access to clinical applications to improve physician satisfaction and EMR adoption. However, Norman Regional faced a challenge familiar to many other hospitals – delivering rapid access and ease-of-use without compromising security. The login time to workstations was too long, and users were struggling to remember the multiple user names and passwords associated with their applications. The clinical and IT leadership at Norman Regional recognized these issues and researched single sign-on solutions to simplify and speed up the login process, protect patient information, and encourage electronic processes associated with Meaningful Use. After a thorough market evaluation, Norman Regional selected Forward Advantage, an authorized reseller/integrator of Imprivata OneSign® single sign-on. Forward Advantage is also a service provider with a history of successful deployments in environments with virtual desktop infrastructures, which made it a natural fit for the health system.

A Popular Implementation: Single Sign-On and VMware View

Norman Regional signed with Forward Advantage in June 2012 and began the single sign-on implementation the following September. The health system chose a phased approach starting with a pilot program in its Intensive Care unit for two weeks prior to rolling out single sign-on in the other departments. “We were at one point rolling out multiple units per day,” says Sharon Brown, senior physician liaison at Norman Regional. “Deployments were taking about two hours per unit, so this was very manageable.” In addition to this quick timeframe, the training that was needed by staff was very minimal.

“We were doing one-on-ones during enrollment,” says Kent Endersby, physician liaison at Norman Regional. “Staff received training while they were getting enrolled in the system, because it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to learn how to use the system according to what they needed to do.”

Norman Regional deployed single sign-on together with VMware View on existing Workstations on Wheels (WOWs) and on new, all-in-one, virtual devices by Samsung. VMware View allows the staff at Norman Regional to take advantage of roaming capabilities, because they can suspend a session on one workstation and pick up exactly where they left off on another. “Forward Advantage is a reseller/integrator partner of VMware View, so we were pleased to help the team at Norman Regional configure and optimize the Samsung devices and VMware View for single sign-on to work effectively in their clinical areas,” says Lee Howard, vice president of client services at Forward Advantage. The deployment of both single sign-on and VMware View was seen as such a success by the hospital’s staff that they had physicians and departments requesting it. “When word got out on how smoothly the implementation was going, we got a lot of compliments from physicians that we wouldn’t normally have,” says Randy Hart, manager of application support at Norman Regional.

Ease of Use with One Password and Roaming Sessions

Single sign-on is currently configured to provide streamlined access to 50 of Norman Regional’s applications. To log on, a clinician simply taps his or her badge to an endpoint, which fills in the user name. After entering a PIN, the clinician can then automatically access any of their applications configured for single sign-on. Re-tapping a badge to an existing workstation will log the clinician out, or a logout can occur after a predetermined amount of inactivity. “The virtual machines are very popular with our hospitalists who typically manage several patients in a unit,” says Brown.

“They are constantly in and out of MEDITECH between visits, so single sign-on with roaming sessions was a real win for them.”

Meeting HIPAA Security Measures and Meaningful Use

Single sign-on is helping Norman Regional comply with measures for both HIPAA security and Meaningful Use. Two-factor authentication is achieved by logging in with something you have (a badge) and something you know (a PIN). Single sign-on also provides better control over passwords for increased complexity and management. “We use remote access for our providers, so they’re coming in mainly through Citrix when they access our network,” says Brown. “You need to change the Active Directory password pretty frequently for it to be secure, which the majority of our providers weren’t doing. We’re working on this with single sign-on, because the system prompts them to change passwords when it’s time and stores this information behind the scenes.”

Norman Regional is pushing forward with Meaningful Use, which means bringing up a lot of new systems and implementing new process changes. Some of these changes include electronic medication ordering and reconciliation, along with online documentation and patient discharges. Knowing that they’d be asking more of their doctors was another key motivator for implementing single sign-on. “It puts us in a position to say that we’re working on items that they’ve presented to us before asking them to do a little bit more,” continues Brown. “We value the existing relationship that we have with Norman Regional,” concludes Howard. “To maintain strong client relations, we believe in providing solutions that enhance the relationship between the hospital and its physicians. Working with Norman Regional on their single sign-on deployment allowed us to do exactly that, because it has a far-reaching and long-term impact.”

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