Ponemon: SSO could save providers using EHRs $2.6M annually

The use of single-sign-on (SSO) technology could save time and provide "substantial economic benefits" for healthcare organizations that use these technologies to access their electronic health records (EHRs), according to a new report released by privacy information management research firm The Ponemon Institute and SSO technology provider Imprivata.

SSO is used to automate the log-in process, which permits providers to log on only once to their computers in order to gain quicker access to all their applications.

The report noted that the average provider spends about 122 hours a year--or about 9.5 minutes a day--attempting to access various forms of EHRs due to the multiple passwords and log-ins used to access the applications needed for patient care.

It also determined that productivity improved with SSO among the 404 healthcare IT representatives and clinicians surveyed. Overall, reducing helpdesk calls (93 percent), saving time (77 percent), reducing log-on errors (75 percent), and improving workflow (75 percent) were noted among the main benefits realized from SSO among the respondents. Another 41 percent said increasing clinician time with patients was another substantial benefit.

Overall, SSO used by medical staff and IT practitioners could result in major cost savings--for instance, an extrapolated value of more than $2.6 million in total annual savings, the report estimated. Cost savings per clinician using EHRs was extrapolated at a cost savings of $2,675 per year.

The study also found that before using SSO, users had an average of 6.4 different passwords or pins required to access critical applications and patient data. In addition, approximately, 70 percent of respondents said SSO was important or very important to the adoption of EHR and related systems.

For more information:
- see the CMIO article
- view the report executive summary (free reg. required)

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