Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) provides inpatient and community-based mental health and social care for people living in Bolton, the city of Manchester, Salford, and Trafford, and offers a range of specialist mental health and substance misuse services across Greater Manchester, the north west of England and beyond.

The trust employs around 4,750 staff, who deliver services from more than 130 locations to around 53,000 service users in a 12-month period.

Business challenge

GMMH was formed on 1 January 2017 and brings together Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) and Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. Before GMMH was formed, GMW underwent a project of digital transformation, strengthening its technology infrastructure by implementing a new patient administration system (Paris) and a new patient flow and bed occupancy solution (Extramed).

As none of the new systems interfaced to Active Directory, the trust also decided to look for a single sign-on (SSO) and authentication management solution to streamline the login process for employees. This would remove the need for staff to repeatedly enter usernames and passwords for access to applications and patient information.
The new solution had to deliver quick and secure access to the new and existing systems and provide the required integration with Active Directory, which the trust uses to authenticate and authorise all users and computers in their Windows domain network.

With the merger with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care, the new SSO and authentication management solution also had to be extended to include new staff.

Speed and simplicity

Following a recommendation by the supplier which was deploying one of the new systems, the IT Development Team requested a demo of Imprivata OneSign Single Sign-on and Authentication Management.

Mike Birtwistle, Development Manager at GMMH comments, “During the demo, what instantly struck us was the ease with which new application profiles could be created and implemented. There was no need for complex coding; the GUI-based Application Profile Generator tool created application SSO profiles quickly and easily. After seeing the demo, Imprivata OneSign was a simple choice.”

Imprivata OneSign was deployed alongside the new patient administration system and the bed management solution. The streamlined SSO process simplified access to the new and existing applications and provided clinicians and care staff with a positive user experience. Imprivata implemented as a mobile solution has also been deployed enabling those staff that work out in the community to access systems remotely.

Birtwistle comments: “We deployed the new systems alongside Imprivata OneSign and quickly saw the benefits. Our users embraced having just one username and password to quickly and securely access applications, from any location. Typically, when implementing any new system, we would expect a spike in calls to the IT service desk while people become familiar with the system – but we didn’t have that issue. Most of our users successfully logged into the system on the first day and haven’t experienced a problem since.”

Today, 3,700 staff at GMMH use Imprivata OneSign, with the remainder expected to be live by September 2018. One clinician using the new system says: “Now I don’t need to worry about a password to access clinical systems. I can access all the systems I need to do my job and the technology is invisible.”

Business benefits

Enhanced user experience – Imprivata OneSign has simplified the login process for clinicians and administrators across the trust. Additionally, the set-up of new users and management of user accounts is now much faster, enabling a streamlined implementation for staff. The ease of using the solution has helped to drive a culture shift across the trust,

Increased productivity – Logging into the main systems multiple times each day took time and often users forgot the complex passwords they had to remember. Now, with Imprivata OneSign, significant amounts of time are redirected back to patient care and IT support staff focus on more proactive tasks.

Security best practice – With Imprivata OneSign, employees need to remember just one username and password for many of the critical systems they use daily. This avoids the need to write passwords down, or share generic logins.

The way forward

The way that health and care is delivered is changing. The move towards integrated health and care models as laid out in the Five Year Forward View, commissioned by NHS England’s boss Simon Stevens, has highlighted the role of technology in provisioning new models of care.

Birtwistle concludes, “Deploying Imprivata OneSign has been an enabler of change, as part of a larger project allowing us to upgrade old administration systems. At the same time, we’ve been able to minimise the impact on clinical and care staff through the ease of the single sign-on process.”

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