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Single sign-on technology saves thousands of hours and improves clinicians’ experience

Published on 2/19/2019

Staff and physicians at Cerner ITWorks℠ client Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., can quickly move from computer to computer without reentering their username and password each time. Cerner installed badge readers at each workstation and gave ID badges the ability to be used as log-in credentials. Users tap the badge to the reader and are then logged into the system, without typing their username and password. This process, called single sign-on (SSO) technology, saved an estimated 3,000 hours from April-June 2018.

"Time is money. Waiting for clinical systems to start each time as you renegotiate with them and let that system start again and again adds up over time," said Marc DiFazio, MD, medical director, ambulatory neurology. "The more we can facilitate that in and out process, the more the clinician can get to his or her note and move on to the next patient."

Assuming an average log-in time of about 8 seconds, clinicians used their badges to log into workstations more than 1.46 million times, saving 3,246 total hours.1

When clinicians move from workstation to workstation utilizing SSO, they also utilized Cerner Instant Access™ so they don't have to reopen solutions. Instead, they can pick up exactly where they left off while on the previous computer.

"It allows clinicians to sign on, move to the patient room and sign on to a computer there, do clinical work, move away from that workstation, then dictate in another location," said DiFazio. "I can get to the right space in the EHR quickly, and it's bookmarked. I stop; I sign off; I sign on in another location and go immediately to the same spot."

Utilizing Cerner Instant Access, helps standardize clinicians' experiences at each workstation across the hospital.

"Now that the technology is more seamless, they're more flexible and get work done when they need to get it done," said DiFazio.

Utilizing SSO and an integrated, standardized workflow can help reduce some workforce stress.

"We better preserve the well-being of the clinician, which is better for the patient," DiFazio said. "The clinician is more effective, they communicate better and are more attentive to their lab results."

While some challenges remain with some sign-ons taking longer during high volume time, Children’s National Hospital anticipates an upcoming upgrade will remedy the challenge and allow physicians to see even faster turnaround times as they move from workstation to workstation.

1Savings of eight seconds estimated from a manual time study utilizing a stopwatch on one computer.

Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.