COVID-19: Using Imprivata Solutions to Mitigate Risk and Manage Response

    April 2020 | Lee Howard, VP of Client Services

    News and Events, Identity & Access Management

    UPDATED APRIL 9, 2020:

    At the top of this post, we’ve added new information about a no cost license offer for Imprivata GroundControl and many more use cases for helping manage through the COVID-19 pandemic with Imprivata OneSign, Imprivata Cortext, Imprivata PatientSecure and Imprivata Confirm ID. We’ll continue to add to this article as new information becomes available.


    NEW Customer Offer

    To help hospitals in their fight against COVID-19, current Imprivata customers might be eligible for temporary licenses of Imprivata GroundControl, lifecycle management for shared mobile devices. For more information about GroundControl,  read a new post from Imprivata.

    Contact Forward Advantageto see if you qualify for this offer.


    NEW Customer Use Cases

    Imprivata recently shared the below use cases from customers leveraging their solutions to help combat COVID-19. This includes mitigating the spread of infectious disease and supporting growing remote workforces with fast, secure access and consistent communications.

    Use Case #1: Remote Workforce

    Healthcare organizations are rapidly increasing remote workforces to protect employees from COVID-19, and many are using Imprivata solutions to ramp up staffing and support this effort by:

    Provisioning immediate access to Skype for 400+ users –With Imprivata Identity Governance, New Jersey’s Virtua Health quickly provisioned 400+ new users into Skype in under an hour. Remote staff can begin using Skype more quickly while maintaining an audit record of user access.

    Securing remote network access with multifactor authentication – Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (Virginia) uses Imprivata Confirm ID for its increased remote workforce. The solution enforces multifactor authentication for remote access, which maintains security and safeguards against unauthorized network access. 

    Reducing help desk calls with self-service password resets for remote users – An Imprivata hospital in Australia noticed a steep increase in IT helpdesk calls from remote employees who were forgetting their passwords. These employees were used to having Imprivata OneSign for tap-and-go access to workstations and applications, which rarely required entering a password. The hospital solved this challenge by configuring Imprivata Self Service Password Reset (via Citrix reverse proxy). Users can access this service from home to reset their own passwords, which has dramatically reduced helpdesk calls.

    Enabling secure, HIPAA-compliant communication for all users – Another Imprivata customer provided Imprivata Cortext to all its users to standardize on a secure and HIPAA-compliant communications method that includes remote staff. This also allows for the secure communication of PHI, particularly among care teams.

    Use Case #2: Virtual Communications

    Many healthcare organizations have implemented visitation restrictions to reduce the spread of infectious disease. Imprivata technology helps patients communicate with and “virtually visit” their families, including:

    Provisioning shared iPad use for patients – The University of Rochester Medical Center (New York) provides iPads to patients so they can communicate with friends and family. These are corporate-owned, shared devices, so the medical center uses Imprivata GroundControl to provision, configure, wipe-clean, and reset them to a “ready state” for the next patient.

    Coordinating virtual patient visits – Another organization uses the out-of-network communication feature of Imprivata Cortext to send messages to patients’ family members that may contain PHI. This facilitates fast and easy coordination of these virtual visits while keeping PHI protected.

    Use Case #3: Risk Mitigation

    Many Imprivata customers are mitigating the risk of spreading infectious disease with new workflows including:

    Auditing workstation access to monitor for possible user exposure to infected patientsImprivata OneSign provides Yale New Haven Health (Connecticut) with data that identifies staff who have accessed a workstation in a hospital area that contained a patient with an infectious disease. Matching OneSign login data with workstation location determines which users were potentially exposed to a patient with an infectious disease so the health system can quickly take necessary actions.

    Supporting virtual consults between ICU staff and remote physicians – Cambridge Health Alliance (Massachusetts) is deploying Microsoft Surface Pro tablets in the ICU that will be shared by clinical staff to virtually consult with remote physicians and other support staff. Imprivata OneSign enables fast, badge-tap access to these tablets, which reduces the need to touch the screens and limits the risk of infection.

    Simplifying clinician symptom-free attestation - To minimize the risk of spreading infection, a prestigious teaching hospital on the East Coast requires clinical staff to attest they are symptom-free at the start of a shift. The hospital developed an application for the attestation, which is integrated with Imprivata OneSign for simplified access via proximity badge tap.

    Sending real-time COVID lab test alerts via secure communications – Another East Coast healthcare system is ensuring the quick delivery of COVID test results to care teams by using Imprivata Cortext to send alerts to care teams when results are ready. This allows clinicians to review results in real-time on either their desktop or mobile device. Forward Advantage can help automate these alerts with our Communication Director solution.

    March 26, 2020

    Let me begin this post by expressing my deep appreciation for those who are serving on the frontline in the war against COVID-19. This extends to hospital physicians and staff who put themselves at risk every day to treat patients and make a positive difference. This also extends to the scientists working tirelessly to stop this virus in its tracks. Lastly, a big thank you to anyone and everyone that has endured great financial and personal sacrifices to protect the greater population.

    COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for everyone, especially the healthcare industry.  Whereas other industries can shut down or go fully remote, hospitals must stay open even in the direst circumstances. However, this doesn’t mean hospitals must be rendered completely vulnerable. It is imperative that patients, care providers and other staff are supported, and your Imprivata solutions from Forward Advantage can be leveraged to do exactly that:

    Identify possibly infected care providers

    •Secure remote access to your system and applications

    •Prevent cyberattacks and misinformation on COVID-19


    Identify Possibly Exposed Care Providers

    During a viral outbreak, having advanced reporting capabilities to track both user and machine-specific digital identity events is a must.  For instance, Imprivata OneSign can identify precisely where and when specific users accessed specific workstations in different patient care zones. By combining this data with workstation mapping and EHR data, hospitals have a valuable tool that more accurately identifies providers potentially exposed to COVID-19.  

    Forward Advantage recommends a robust workstation naming convention to provide more granular detail, ideally including building, floor, department, room or other specific detail. 


    Keep Employees Safe with Remote Access

    Many of you are facing an increase in remote workers during this crisis. Imprivata Confirm ID for Remote Access was specifically designed for the healthcare industry and is ideal for your workforce. This multifactor authentication solution provides convenient, quick access to hospital systems outside hospital walls without sacrificing security

    Additionally, Imprivata Confirm ID for Remote Access is currently available to existing Imprivata customers at no cost for all users. Contact us if you would like to deploy your temporary licenses. 


    Stop Misinformation in Its Tracks

    While there are many people selflessly working to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the sad reality is that there are many others looking to capitalize during this time. Cyberattacks are all too familiar in healthcare, and a perceived weakness can look like a golden opportunity for a hacker. 

    I came across a recent article that discussed the flood of misinformation on COVID-19 resulting from text messages. Physicians from Boston to San Francisco reported receiving and sharing realistic-looking text messages relaying false information about COVID-19. It has since been determined that this was the result of a cyberattack, and it would be prudent to assume it won’t be the last. We recommend that customers review and update their policies for mobile devices. Text messaging is popular across all industries, but if not kept in check, it can create more problems than benefits.

    Using secure messaging platforms like Imprivata Cortext provide a convenient and secure alternative to traditional text messaging. EHR-integration and alerts streamline clinician workflow for more efficient care, and when widely deployed, secure messaging provides a valuable way to prevent misinformation from unauthorized sources. Additionally, if you are already using Imprivata OneSign, integration with Imprivata Cortext provides the same robust reporting functionality discussed previously in this post. Accurate, end-user reporting combined with security against unwanted information makes the combination of single sign-on and secure messaging a powerful weapon in any hospital’s arsenal.


    Key Takeaway

    Forward Advantage recognizes the contributions that our customers are making to combat COVID-19. Thank you for everything you do! We’ll continue to share as we learn about and identify more ways to leverage existing solutions to better defend against COVID-19.

    Contact us with any questions or to deploy your temporary Imprivata Confirm ID for Remote Access licenses.

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