Industry Solutions: Healthcare

As one of the most highly regulated industries, healthcare faces a tall order to remain compliant amongst increasing government regulations and increasing attempted breaches.

The healthcare industry deals with a unique set of challenges. Identity and Access management play a pivotal role in streamlining appropriate access to systems and patient data, meeting federal guidelines, and protecting sensitive data in cost-efficient ways. With the industry at large being nearly a decade behind in technology adoption, it is crucial to implement a workable solution as soon as possible to mitigate industrial risks and enhance the ability to provide the tools for providers and employees to excel. GCA has the experience to innovate your environment and automate your compliance, allowing you to focus on delivering world-class care to your patients and clients.

How you benefit from allowing GCA to help you...

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Ensure that the primary revenue generators in healthcare have access to precisely what they need.

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Ensure access is provided according to federal and organizational policy while maximizing efficiency.

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Provide additional security factors in logical access to clinical systems while simultaneously reducing the friction of the login process for the end user.

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Maintain the delicate balance between stringent access controls – especially relating to EHR systems – and ease of streamlined clinical/operational workflow.

With GCA, we can be assured that our IAM program is designed, operating, and moving forward in the most optimal way to serve our clinician and physician user base. The quality of their work and the professional relationship that we have with them is a true value-add to our organization.
Scott Breece, - CISO, Community Health Systems

Let’s start with the ominous acronym that makes any healthcare organization cringe: HIPAA. With penalties up to $1.5 million per violation, per year, it’s not hard for providers to find the motivation to stay compliant - but it can be quite challenging to execute.

As if the threat of a HIPAA fine isn’t enough of a motivator, lack of administrative safeguards/monitoring leaves tremendous opportunity for criminals to bribe healthcare employees and third-party vendors to steal data for them that goes completely unnoticed. Because Private Healthcare Information (PHI) secures ten times the price tag of financial data on the black market, it is by far the most lucrative opportunity for criminals. Finally, with the increasingly complex healthcare ecosystem consisting of significant mergers/acquisitions, rapid movement to the cloud while maintaining on-premise legacy systems, BYOD policies, and complex user roles (such as an active physician that also runs a department), appropriate access management is at the top of mind in order to protect patient data. Even though healthcare houses some of the consumer’s most personal information, the industry as a whole lags up to a decade behind in technology adoption, which puts patient data at risk and leaves providers with costly manual processes. These risks are key drivers that necessitate a better way of controlling access: Identity and Access Management (IAM)

IAM is the framework of policies and technologies for ensuring that the proper people in an organization have the appropriate access to critical systems, processes, and data.

In a healthcare organization, nearly every employee has some form of access to sensitive data, whether it be via Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems, digital document repositories, or even physical documents (i.e., patient charts). With everyone from the physical therapist to the janitor having potential access to PHI, it is imperative that the organization adopt an advanced, effective IAM solution. The problem is that not all IAM solutions will be useful, so the organization needs to ensure they understand what their requirements are and what problems they are trying to solve. For example:

Do you have advanced authentication measures in place, such as Multi-Factor Authentication or Zero Trust Security?

Do you have any capabilities to accurately review all users with access to critical systems, processes, and sensitive data (including physical access)?

Does your organization have a way to maintain a list of critical assets, processes, and any system that contains PHI?

Do you know every third-party vendor that has logical or physical access to your systems, processes, data?

Once you have determined where your most pressing IAM needs originate, you are then required to evaluate the slew of IAM tools and providers to confirm which company(s) have the capabilities to fulfill your needs.

This doesn’t even take into consideration the amount of effort that goes into planning the adoption of your IAM framework, the management required to oversee the implementation, and the execution of your IAM framework to ensure you are getting optimal value on your investment. On top of it all, healthcare is arguably the most critical industry in terms of ensuring operational efficiency while maintaining appropriate security. Healthcare has a significant turnover rate and due to the nature of the business, requires many users (especially providers) to transfer or operate out of different facilities. Between this and the timeliness factor required when granting access to new/transferred users, it creates a significant strain on a healthcare organization’s administrative costs and effort. As such, your organization has to ensure that the primary revenue generators in healthcare have precisely what they need when they need it. By merely being inefficient in the timeliness of access provisioning for your users, you are risking productivity impacts, resource inefficiencies, and potentially putting the lives of your patient(s) in jeopardy by creating inabilities to provide patient care at critical times. Furthermore, if your access management team does not receive appropriate management approval or grants the wrong access to a user, your company is at risk of significant fines due to HIPAA and other regulatory compliance requirements. As you can see, it is imperative to maintain a delicate balance between stringent access controls, especially relating to EHR systems, and ease of streamlined clinical/operational workflow.

When you take each of these factors into consideration, the adoption of an IAM framework and associated solutions seems exceptionally daunting. Thankfully, GCA has the experience and the capabilities to assist your healthcare organization in every step of your IAM journey.

GCA understands that due to the nature of your organization, the majority of resources should focus on providing world-class care to your patients and customers, not antiquated control management processes.

As such, we use advanced technologies to automate the IAM workflow. The automation provided by our solutions helps to ensure access is provided according to policy -but in the most efficient way possible. We achieve this by removing the need to have IT professionals involved in the majority of the process. When it is determined access is needed, a request is made and once appropriate personnel approves, the access is provisioned automatically. IT is no longer chained to the manual process of tracking down approvals, verifying access parameters, and keying in individuals across many systems. Simplified and automated certification campaigns ensure that access is appropriate or flags for correction before an auditor discovers the error and fines the organization.

GCA provides access management solutions to healthcare organizations nationwide.

This process is geared toward assisting the client with providing additional security factors in logical access to clinical systems, while simultaneously reducing the friction of the login process for the end user. For example, GCA can circumvent the need for a provider to provide their username and password to login to a system and then again login to individual applications. With our solution, they simply walk up to the machine, tap their badge and provide a unique pin code. At this point, the system logs in automatically and even automatically launches applications commonly used based on the machine type and location. This process has saved the physician significant time and energy in accessing the pertinent systems and applications required to fulfill their job responsibilities. The implementation of this framework has essentially created Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for the physician while reducing keystrokes (and headaches). When we accomplish this, GCA empowers a company to increase the value of their patient experience and focus more on its vision of providing impactful healthcare services.

Whether you are a healthcare organization who has yet to start their Identity & Access Management journey or you are looking to further refine how access is managed, GCA has the expertise and the desire to help you achieve your vision!

Furthermore, GCA has years of experience working extensively with a variety of healthcare clients and are adept with understanding what works and what doesn’t within the context of how a healthcare organization operates. With this deep understanding, we can hit the ground running and ensure our solutions work with even the most complex of organizations. GCA has strategically partnered with a variety of world-class IAM technology providers to deliver state-of-the-art IAM tools that greatly enhance the effectiveness of your customized IAM framework.

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