Mahaska Health partnership saves clinicians 45 min/day with fast access to EMR applications


Location:Oskaloosa, Iowa





  • Care providers wasted 45 min. per day logging into applications
  • Lost productivity due to session timeouts
  • Needed to comply with HIPAA and HITECH


  • Cost savings of $5,600 per care provider annually
  • Strengthened security and compliance posture
  • 11 week ROI

Mahaska Health Partnership (MHP), is a critical access hospital located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, providing services from birth to end-of-life, for emergency, elective and preventative care. MHP originally implemented Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) to streamline clinician processes and improve continuity of care, but after a successful EMR deployment, MHP needed to strengthen access security measures to meet HIPAA and HITECH compliance.

The business challenge

The MHP team knew they had to improve security without impeding productivity. According to Kristi Roose, IT Director, MHP, “As we looked to implement more stringent security policies, we wanted to avoid any inefficiencies that would affect clinician workflows and ultimately impact patient care.”

The MHP team wanted to avoid:

  • User frustration associated with complex passwords and logins
  • Potential security breaches caused by shared or written down passwords
  • Loss of productivity due to session timeouts
  • Inefficient reporting and audit processes

Additionally, in efforts to improve organizational performance by eliminating waste, the MHP team implemented LEAN principles. In evaluating workflows, the team found that a typical RN would log into approximately 15 systems per shift – with each login taking 3 minutes. This revealed that care providers wasted 45 minutes per shift logging in and out of applications, which based on the average hourly rate, equated to $112 per provider per week. To streamline the login process, they decided to implement single sign-on (SSO) along with finger biometrics for on-site users and OTP tokens for remote access.

The Imprivata OneSign solution

After researching different SSO alternatives, the MHP team chose Imprivata OneSign® based on several factors:
  • Ease of implementation and use
  • Low cost
  • Superior customer service
  • Successful track record with the Healthland HIS system

Today, Imprivata OneSign offers MHP’s care providers and employees single sign-on to more than 30 applications. Imprivata provides out-of-the-box support for multiple strong authentication technologies, which enables MHP to use different authentication modalities depending on provider workflows and needs.

For example, care providers using onsite workstations and Computers on Wheels (COWs) in operating rooms use fingerprint biometric scanners, while remote care providers access applications from a SSL VPN using RSA tokens.

Deployment went swiftly. As the IT team rolled out the use of Imprivata OneSign one unit at a time, interest increased and care providers signed up to enroll. “Nurses in particular communicate well with each other, so they pass along the successes and momentum starts to build,” says Roose.

The results

MHP’s care providers today use Imprivata OneSign to achieve fast, secure access to patient data. “Imprivata OneSign has reduced the time it takes clinicians to access electronic medical records and other data, streamlining their workflow and improving productivity. We receive positive feedback from our clinicians, as they are able to access their data much more easily,” says Roose.

In fact, the MHP team calculated that by saving care providers 45 minutes per day ($112 per provider per week), they were able to save $5,600 per year per care provider. This equated to an 11-week ROI. Imprivata OneSign has also strengthened the hospital’s security posture and improved its ability to comply with HIPAA reporting requirements, enforcing password policies automatically, and tracking and auditing all application access for reporting and compliance purposes.

“Single sign-on is important for clinician adoption of Electronic Health Records. SSO takes the authentication burden off the clinician, while supporting multiple levels of security, and improves clinician workflow and patient care,”says Roose.