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March 11, 2009

Tower Hamlets PCT boosts security

Imprivata enables single sign-on

By Steve Evans

Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust has implemented Imprivata OneSign to provide clinicians and admins with single sign-on and improved authentication management processes. It is hoped this will improve access to multiple healthcare applications.

Imprivata is a supplier of converged authentication and access management platforms. Rollout of the new system at Tower Hamlets (PCT) will continue throughout 2009 through Imprivata’s partner Sysec.

When the project is completed, Imprivata says that 600 users at the Trust should see improved secure access to applications, including clinical systems, NHS Mail, HR, IT and Finance packages.

Single sign-on will be integrated with the NHS smart card, to enable users to securely access NHS Spine applications via a single set of log-on credentials stored on their cards, rather than individual log-ons for each system.

Greg Peacock, IT Manager, Tower Hamlets PCT, said: “As an NHS organisation holding sensitive patient data, security has always been our primary concern; however, having the technology in place to ensure our clinical staff can do their jobs with the maximum efficiency is also vital to providing the expected levels of patient care.”

A self-service password reset system will also be implemented, which the Trust hopes will reduce the burden on the IT department, allowing workers to concentrate on business-critical applications.

It is hoped the new OneSign platform will improve IT security at the Trust, as IT staff will be provided with a trail of attempted and authenticated entry to IT systems, Imprivata said. Workers on shared workstations can tap their proximity card on a reader to lock their system, reducing the risk of unauthorised access.

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Omar Hussain, president and CEO, Imprivata, said: “Security and cost are two key concerns for every public sector organisation today, especially in light of recent high profile data breaches. Tower Hamlets PCT is one of many NHS organisations in the UK leading by example with the implementation of OneSign, which not only provides high levels of access management control, but is also helping to ease the financial and resource burden, driving productivity and reducing costs across a growing number of NHS hospitals.”

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