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Explainer: Single Sign On Technology for the Healthcare Industry


Major health organizations are scrambling to implement new technologies that can help with the faster and safer delivery of patient care services to those in need. Currently, Single Sign On or SSO is one of the technologies that are making their presence felt in the health care industry.

Single Sign On Technology is a combination of access control biometric systems that can help hospital staff, administrative workers and IT teams authenticate and identify patients quickly and with less paperwork. The biometric system software is a combination of finger biometrics, proximity cards, personal identification numbers, smart cards and passwords.

SSO basically eliminates health care personnel from repetitively logging on to different systems in the facility. The task alone of entering and remembering different passwords for each system can cause delay and distraction for key personnel handling a number of medical cases, for example.

Several hospitals and health care facilities throughout North America experience delays in providing medical services for their patients due to the fact that specialists had to find the passwords needed to gain entry into a particular system. Some would blanket an entire wall with tiny pieces of paper with passwords scrawled across it.

In another incident cited in TechTarget, a trauma doctor unwittingly locked himself out of a system because he ignored the new password reset policy sent by the CIO. This led to the delay of an emergency procedure as the hospital had to send in IT personnel to identify the surgeon face to face.

Single Sign On technology allows hospital personnel to maintain their access to systems while moving through a number of computers. Under such a scheme, nurses do not need to keep running back to their computer in order to check data and can also update their records in any PC nearest to them.

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