Provisioning users in a hospital or healthcare system is vital to ensuring daily identity management runs smoothly. Each user needs access to the right records and digital apps to do their job efficiently. If someone needs to stop what they’re doing to request access to a system they’re locked out of, it can slow down patient care.
Healthcare organizations with multiple users can run into high costs and time challenges when it comes to user provisioning. Unfortunately, many organizations still do this manually, which also takes time and can lead to mistakes.
The healthcare industry has been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, 18% of healthcare workers have quit their jobs during the pandemic, and an additional 12% have been laid off. That’s a total 30% loss in the workforce while patient numbers continue to go up, taxing an already overworked staff.
Any administrative process that can be automated helps reduce the burden on staff. Automated processes also tend to be more accurate. This allows you to ensure that doctors, nurses, and others on the healthcare team have access to the tools they need when they need them.
What is automated account provisioning?
Automated account provisioning entails using a software tool that can do the checks and balances of account creation for you. The process to set up a new account user is automated and can be regulated by rules and policies that have been put in place.
Organizations can save time and money while increasing efficiency by streamlining the process. In addition, data on users is centralized and can easily be tapped into by any of your systems for automated safety checks.
Here are some reasons why automated account provisioning is a “must-have” for healthcare organizations in today’s world.
COVID-19 has reduced the number of employees.
84% of surveyed healthcare organizations report having challenges with nursing workforce coverage. Additionally, 60% face staffing issues with clinical support staff and 50% with patient-driven deferred care.
COVID-19 has reduced the number of employees available for important administrative tasks like creating new accounts for permanent and temporary personnel.
Employees are working in multiple roles requiring complex business roles.
When hospitals and other healthcare facilities are short-staffed, employees are often taking on roles that they weren’t involved with before the pandemic.
This makes account setup and maintenance even more complex because users need access to a variety of different systems and may have different privilege levels in each one.
Physicians have hospital privileges but are not employees of the hospital.
Physicians often have hospital privileges and need to have access to certain digital systems in that hospital. However, since they are not employees of the facility, they need to be handled differently as a user.
When account provisioning is done manually, mistakes can happen, such as non-employees being given employee roles. However, when the system is automated with the right tools, you can more accurately handle different types of user roles.
Hospitals have traveling nurses that come to help during a crisis.
During the pandemic, many nurses have been asked to travel to areas that need the most help when COVID cases have surged. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear to personnel how to handle these temporary accounts.
This is yet another complex user setup that can easily be programmed into an account provisioning software and automated. So, in the case of a traveling nurse, they could be set up as a user just as quickly as an employee.
Some users are both employees and medical students.
Medical students are another type of healthcare facility worker that often needs to be recognized differently in a system than someone that is permanently on staff.
Students will need access to certain systems and need restrictions according to their specific area of study and where they are working. For example, during the pandemic, medical students have been brought in to assist in the hardest-hit areas, meaning many facilities have had more to provision as users than usual.
Job roles must have the correct access permissions when it comes to patient information.
It’s vital to have accurate systems in place that can restrict access to patient health information. However, this can be more difficult for short-staffed facilities and may have traveling nurses, military personnel, and medical students called in to help in an emergency situation.
To ensure HIPAA compliance, each user needs to be properly identified in the system so access policies can be applied to their login. Automating this entire system based on preset rules provides accuracy that is hard to get with manual provisioning.
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