IT news: Industry partnership to help overcome NHS data losses and free up staff for frontline care

LEADING authentication management provider, Imprivata, has today announced a link-up with Citrix Systems that will provide NHS trusts with an end-to-end package for desktop virtualisation.

Creator of the Secure Walk-Away and Self Service Password Management systems, Imprivata will now combine its technology into Citrix’s XenDesktop solution. Patient information can no longer be left on a train and cannot be stolen if the laptop is taken

Explaining the impact the deal will have, Imprivata’s director of product development, James Millington, said: “Healthcare is a huge market for desktop virtualisation technology. In effect it means moving all the information and processes from individual computers, laptops and mobile devices to a secure external data centre. As far as the user is concerned, they still save and retrieve a document in the same way as they usually would, but it is then held at a data centre where it cannot be stolen or lost. For the user it is the same experience, but it is better for IT managers as it is much safer.

It is proving particularly useful as medical staff become more mobile. Millington added: “Many markets other than healthcare may find desktop virtualisation suitable for one or two departments, but in healthcare there are huge mobility requirements, so it is proving a very big market for these solutions.

“Doctors and nurses can be office based, but often they have to move from ward to ward and office to office. Traditionally, every time they do that they have to log on and off of systems and find the relevant information. Desktop virtualisation benefits them because everything is centralised and they can access it from any device anywhere in the building or outside merely by connecting to the central server. It will bring up their desktop exactly as they last left it. This makes it a great fit for healthcare.”

Imprivata already has deals with more than 100 NHS trusts and has recently signed a contract to supply NHS trusts across Scotland with its single sign-on and password authentication technology. Combined with desktop virtualisation this has to potential to save every member of staff 15 minutes a day.

Millington said: “When staff move around they have to keep signing on and off. Our research has shown that doctors and nurses can do this up to 40 times a day and that all takes time. By using single sign-on technology and authentication, we have found they can save 15 minutes every day. That’s 15 minutes for every person, every day of every month of every year. That’s a lot of time they can put into frontline patient care.”

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Imprivata (more information, website)

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