Why today’s health-care industry needs IAM solutions

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“Does the information related to someone’s health really matter”? While some may not have a clear answer to this but yes these medical records are worth 10 times more than the credit card numbers on the black market.


But why so much emphasis on patient information? The reason is quite simple. Health-care records contain the valuable information related to individuals like their social security numbers, home addresses and their other health histories. Hackers through this valuable data segment, can get big incentives if they sell them in the black market. Additionally, medical records are usually shared with many different types of entities that makes the security of patient records much needed.


So you can see this healthcare data is valuable and vulnerable to theft. But despite of this fact, the state of IT security in healthcare sector is very disturbing. Here are some unsettling stats highlighting the security state of health industry according to the data breach statistics 2016.


  • 64% of all data breaches in H1 (first half) 2016 are related to identity theft.
  • By comparison, Financial industry accounted for only 12% of all data breaches while healthcare added up to 27% of all breach incidents.
  • Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations experiences data breaches costing around $6.2 billion to the industry.
  • One survey found that only 31% of healthcare organizations implement data encryption techniques which is one of the lowest rates of data encryption.



Over 195,000 deaths in United States happen annually because of the medical errors. And out of those, around 60% of the deaths occur because of the incorrect identification of the patient (source). Common names, misspellings, phonetic spellings, fraud and patient language barriers can lead to inaccurate identification of patients.


Apart from the misidentification of patients, incomplete medical records are also there making things even worse. Without proper management, the substantial number of duplicate medical records are created in hospitals. It means that a patient’s medical information is distributed across various medical records that causes potential delays in treatment. Because of these identity errors and improper management, Healthcare Industry adduces identity and access management for end users (Patients) as one of their top challenges today.


IAM solutions bring operational efficiency and security intelligence to your organization hence it needs to be optimized for security and access related capabilities. For healthcare as well it is not different.


Here is a list that breaks down the healthcare IAM capabilities and clarifies your doubts on what kind of identity solution is best suitable for your healthcare department.


Your identity management solution should minimize the manual intervention!

Well that’s what a technology is supposed to do. Your chosen IAM solution should offer IT systems robust automation of several tasks including password management, help desk access, single sign on, a notification mechanism for requests etc.


Your identity management platform should provide access based reporting and auditing!

Who has the access to what? The answer to this question is the key step that ensures data security.  Before IAM, IT administrators and reporting managers used to keep track of who has the access, what information can be accessed and how it can be accessed. With IAM this task is completely automatized.


Your IAM solution should facilitate quick on-boarding!

The fundamental purpose of an IAM platform is to bring ease at the process when there introduces numerous new identities to the system everyday. When it comes to vast healthcare, the scenario is no different. And for these newly introduced identities, access related algorithms needs to be synchronized correctly to execute their basic responsibilities.


Your IAM solution must be able to establish connection with various healthcare apps!

The IAM solution that you have opted for must be able to communicate with some widely accepted healthcare applications such as Cerner, Epic, AllScripts, Keane etc. This integration minimizes the duplicity that might occur if there is no proper synchronization with such applications.


Your IAM solution should safeguard electronic health records of patients!

The electronic health records of patients are the most vulnerable assets for hackers. And IAM here limits the access of these records and monitors what information is being accessed by users. So that no fraud can take place.


Well these are the basic capabilities that an effective healthcare identity management system must cover. Now the question is –


What is Patient identity management system and how IAM increases its efficiency?

“Patient identity management is the process of uniquely identifying, managing, tracking and linking the individual users(patients) with their digitized healthcare information within or across multiple electronic systems.”


The need of PIM is rising everyday because of the increasing demand of electronic healthcare data(EHR). In US alone, nearly 87% of office based physicians are reported to use any form of EHR and this number is expected to grow further. With this continuous increase, the challenges faced by PIM are also getting complex. But after the integration of IAM with PIM, health care organizations can now ensure the increased efficiency, improved patient experience and safety of integral patient information. Here’s how they do it!


  • IAM enables Single Sign-On that allows a patient to access various shared workstations with just single set of credentials. Thus reduces time in accessing and performs fast user-switching.
  • With IAM there comes proficient user provisioning that automates the new user access for applications in the fastest time possible.
  • PIM in association with IAM provides access of clinical applications to specific people based on their roles so that unauthorized access can be eliminated.
  • IAM offers rapid termination of access from employees who have left the organization. It also includes the removal of access from EHRs as well as from the applications that have sensitive clinical data.
  • With IAM there comes the capabilities like application integration, shared patient information across applications and self-service reporting that helps accessing the patient information in more inclusive manner.


It becomes more essential for healthcare organizations to include an effective IAM platform to improve the governance and user experience of your systems and processes that are available online.


But the point of consideration here is “Is the implementation of efficient IAM platform is tough”?

Well being a health care entity you don’t need to spend resources in the complex development of your own identity management platform. Instead you can adopt some already established identity and access management solutions that best matches your needs.

Prince Kapoor

Prince Kapoor is Marketing Analyst Lead at LoginRadius, A leading CIAM Provider. While not working, you can find him in the gym or giving random health advice to his colleagues which no one agrees on :D. If you too want some of his advice (on health or on marketing), reach him out at Twitter.

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