Riverside Medical Center boosts physician satisfaction with secure, convenient access to EMR and other applications


Locations:Kankakee and Bourbonnais, Illinois




EMR:McKesson Horizon


  • Care providers collectively wasted 400 hours per month logging in and out of applications
  • Password management was a significant burden on IT
  • Required ongoing compliance with HIPAA and HITECH regulations


  • Boosted physician satisfaction by increasing time available for patient care
  • Reduced help desk calls for password resets 18 percent
  • Supported CPOE initiatives

Riverside Medical Center, located in Kankakee, Illinois, is a fully integrated medical system serving the health care needs of patients throughout the counties of Kankakee, Iroquois, Will, Grundy and beyond. Riverside Medical Center is a 336-bed hospital that provides a full scope of inpatient and outpatient care. Riverside is a nationally recognized, award-winning hospital with leading programs in heart care, cancer care, neurosurgery and orthopedics. It is the area’s only Magnet® Recognized hospital and has been named a 100 Top Hospital four years in a row. Riverside also operates several community, primary and specialty health centers throughout the region.

As part of its core values, Riverside strives for clinical, operational and service excellence. That’s why, when time studies revealed that the medical center’s 300+ physicians were collectively spending 400 hours per month just logging into and out of the McKesson Horizon electronic health record system and other clinical applications, Riverside’s IT team knew there had to be a better way.

The business challenge

Riverside’s log-in and authentication process, which required users to remember multiple passwords for different applications (which they accessed many times throughout their shifts) was impeding physicians’ productivity and wasting time better spent on patient care. As a result, Riverside’s IT department set out to select and deploy a strong authentication and single sign-on solution that would boost physician satisfaction while protecting patient data, simplifying regulatory compliance, and supporting the medical center’s Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) initiative.

“The number one driver was physician satisfaction,” said Philip Bierdz, Infrastructure Manager at Riverside Medical Center. “We look at our physicians as Indy race car drivers and those of us in IT are the pit crew. The faster we can service the physicians’ IT needs, the more time they have to focus on providing quality patient care.”

The Imprivata OneSign solution

After evaluating a number of options, Riverside selected Imprivata OneSign® with fingerprint biometrics for strong authentication and convenient access to those applications the physicians use most frequently. The Imprivata solution was deployed throughout Riverside’s medical facilities, including those in physician pods and patient rooms.

OneSign simplifies the physicians’ login process to the swipe of a fingerprint, eliminating the need to type a username or password. Strong authentication secures protected health information (PHI), while single sign-on seamlessly logs physicians into their applications so they spend less time waiting and more time caring for patients.

The deployment process proceeded swiftly and smoothly, requiring no changes to user directories or applications. Within three weeks of introducing OneSign, every physician on IT’s enrollment list had self-provisioned and was using the solution.

“It was pretty phenomenal how quickly word spread among the physicians and how immediately they bought into the OneSign solution,” added Bierdz. “I can’t say I’ve seen a more readily accepted application roll-out.”

The results

Improving Physician Satisfaction and Patient Care

Imprivata OneSign offers Riverside care providers single sign-on to key applications, including the McKesson Horizon EHR system. A provider simply walks up to a computer—in patient rooms or in the ICU, Obstetrics, Nursery, OR and Preoperative suites—and swipes his fingertip on the biometric reader. OneSign automatically authenticates and logs in the care provider, granting instant access to his desktop, network and applications - while maintaining the highest levels of data security.

“We set up OneSign SSO and Authentication Management on every computer our physicians might access in their daily rounds for a simplified and consistent user experience, stated Bierdz. “That has worked out really well, freeing up more physician time to focus on patient care.”

Once Riverside’s care providers were enrolled and comfortable with OneSign, IT started rolling the solution out to the nursing staff on a targeted basis, starting with the ICU, Pediatrics, and Rehabilitation units, holding one-hour training sessions during shift changes.

Reducing Help Desk Requests

By using OneSign with fingerprint biometrics, Riverside has eliminated the need for care providers to remember multiple passwords for authentication and sign-on. OneSign centrally manages each user’s complete collection of application passwords and extends seamless, convenient single signon to provisioned applications. Behind the scenes, OneSign creates strong passwords and automatically updates them every 100 days to ensure HIPAA and HITECH compliance.

“Password management has always been a big help desk issue for us,” said Bierdz. “Since deploying OneSign, we’ve reduced password related help desk calls by 18 percent.”

Driving Meaningful Use

The tedious process of logging into and out of systems can be an impediment to rapid adoption of electronic medical records (EMR). By providing fast, secure access to the McKesson Horizon system, Imprivata is helping Riverside to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EMR technology to achieve its health and efficiency goals.

“There’s no question that single sign-on and strong authentication are helping to drive physician adoption of EMR at Riverside,” concluded Bierdz. “We’re strong believers in the Imprivata solution.”