Hospital portal aids helpdesk woes

IT helpdesk staffers at Toronto’s Bridgepoint Health are today coming to work knowing one thing for certain: there won’t be calls from users asking, “What’s my password?”

Last summer, Bridgepoint rolled out an identity-based healthcare portal, which serves as the single entry point for all its users for accessing applications and data files. Because it allowed users to have a single user ID and password to access the portal from any workstation, Bridgepoint officials claim password-related helpdesk calls have declined by 80 per cent.

Prior to deploying the portal, Bridgepoint’s information and communications infrastructure consisted of many disparate systems. Bridgepoint’s 1,200 users were burdened with remembering too many user names and passwords to access vital applications and information, Novell said.

Dubbed MyBridgepoint Portal, the system uses Novell’s identity and access management tools, including eDirectory, Identity Manager, iChain and SecureLogin.

Novell’s Extend tool integrated all of Bridgepoint’s disparate applications into the single portal, enabling faster access to applications such as hospital administration, finance, calendar and e-mail.

“It’s critical to have a really secure and strong identity management strategy in a hospital because you have to worry about data and privacy protection,” said Marc Lamoureux, director of information services at Bridgepoint.

Novell worked with Bridgepoint users, including physicians, nurses and staff, to define the business needs and requirements to make MyBridgepoint effective for the clinicians, according to Novell.

The portal’s single sign-on feature also provides users with personalized views of information, based on their roles and responsibilities using a single user ID and password, said Lamoureux.

Remote users can also access MyBridgepoint portal using any standard Web browser enabling the hospital’s home care health practitioners to provide off-site patient care. The portal is envisioned to be the primary interface for accessing applications for 95 per cent of Bridgepoint users, said Bridgepoint CIO Steve Banyai.

“At the end of the day, we’re a hospital and technology should not be daunting for people who are hands-on patient caregivers,” Banyai said, adding that having a good healthcare portal will allow Bridgepoint to “get the right information into the hands of the right people, when they need it, so they can make the right clinical decisions.”

Bridgepoint is also in the process of rolling out a new hospital information system through Meditech, a suite of clinical and business applications, as well as an HR application that will provide the backbone for Bridgepoint’s identity infrastructure, Lamoureux said.

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