When the health care system becomes a patient itself, changes are bound to be dramatic. This is the case for the health professional card to be introduced in Germany (known as HBA, the German acronym for Heilberufeausweis). Used in conjunction with a patient's personal health card, this highly efficient card provides medical staff with information about the medical history, test results, performed operations, allergies to drugs, and much more. Files and paper records will become a thing of the past.<br />Experience shows that major changes also offer big opportunities. Today, all experts agree on one thing: sophisticated information technology is the key to the future of the health care industry. Information technology not only helps reduce costs and makes processes more efficient, but it also provides quick access to the right data and supports the electronic transmission of results and X-ray images, telemedicine, etc. This allows the highly debt-ridden public health care system to save itself, but also to perform its first and foremost task more efficiently: saving lives.
It follows that the digital era is a typical win-win situation for the health care system. While there is a large variety of IT projects that can be implemented in hospitals and medical practices, data protection and safe access to systems and to buildings are on top of the priority list. Now that the German government has prescribed a new era, multifunctional employee IDs are within reach. While this might seem like a bitter pill to swallow in view of the high cost, is opens up a window of huge opportunities. There is an enormous amount of work involved in the introduction of the health professional card because requirements regarding safety and confidentiality are especially high in the public health care system. Hospitals can use the extensive infrastructure that is being created for this purpose for additional measures that save time and money. The philosophy behind this is: one system, countless advantages.
One of the possible applications is "Single Sign On". All users have to do is remember one single PIN. Until now, users often had to remember numerous passwords, which led them to choose very obvious codes such as their children's names or the name of their pet. Another problem was forgotten passwords, which resulted in high help desk expenses. SSO solutions dramatically increase data security because they only ask for one single PIN. The so-called "strong authentication" requires users to both have the card and know the PIN, thereby ensuring a high degree of data security. As soon as the card is removed from the reading device, another person can work on the PC using his or her own access rights, which happens very frequently in the fast-paced health care industry. The result: resources are no longer wasted because workstations can be used by different persons on a continuous basis. This so-called "Multidesktop" function dramatically increases efficiency in wards that have more employees than PC workstations. IDpendant offers Single Sign On solutions by manufacturers that meet hospitals' special requirements for strong authentication.
Another additional function is the highly practical "Session Roaming" solution. It works like this: if a doctor is working on a PC in a specific ward, but is urgently called away to another ward, all he or she has to do is pull the card from the card reading device and insert it into the reading device in the other ward to continue the "old" session on the PC in the new ward. The so-called "traveling user" becomes a reality, providing decisive advantages to everybody involved in the process.
The introduction of the health professional cards is an excellent opportunity to introduce multifunctional employee IDs. Thanks to a smart Card Management System, both "physical access" and "logical access" can be centrally managed. While "physical access" refers to access provision to buildings, "logical access" revolves around access to IT systems and work-time recording. This Card Management System is flexible to adapt to changing requirements as needed and integrates quickly into the existing IT infrastructure. This prevents excessive strain on traditionally tight budgets in the health care industry while making a major contribution towards increased security. Existing employee IDs can be upgraded to become multifunctional IDs, making nursing professionals' lives much easier.
In a nutshell: patients will get the best possible treatment at all times thanks to quick access to required data, nursing professionals' workload will be reduced and the overall productivity and security will increase. Thanks to innovative IT solutions that can be introduced within the framework of the implementation of the health professional card, hospitals and medical practices will be very well prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Single Sign On
Multifunctional Card Management