NHIS engaged with ITHealth, who they had been working with extensively for over a number of years. ITHealth specialise in providing IT security and access management solutions for all types of NHS organisations with Secure-IT (a remote access solution) being ITHealth’s flagship offering. NHIS and ITHealth worked together to add to the Secure-IT offering (which NHIS were already using) so that the additional needs of NHIS could be met. They called the new clinical mobile working solution Monitor and it is being extremely well received by NHIS clinicians.
The Secure-IT solution offers strong, 2-factor authentication to enable Trust staff to securely access Trust data from wherever they are working, using NHS Smartcards, hard tokens, or mobile phone ‘soft’ tokens as their means of authentication. A typical Secure-IT solution comprises Secure-IT 2 factor authentication software combined with approved EAL4 appliances to provide firewall, VPN concentrator and intrusion detection; installation, training and on-going support are also provided from ITHealth. Secure-IT has been used by over 200 NHS Trusts and meets the rigorous standards that are set by NHS Digital.
The Secure-IT solution enables Trust staff to access their Trust and N3 applications and information, the internet and email, using a secure mobile VPN connection that safeguards confidentiality. This approach of providing access at the point of care enables ways of working that increase efficiency and can improve clinical outcomes.
Monitor was jointly developed to offer additional functionality to enable:
- Reduced multiple log-ins
- Intelligent network connectivity
- Intelligent launching of the VPN and application based upon network connectivity
- Provision of management information detailing user connections
Prior to using Monitor, clinicians had to work through 6 log-ins. With Monitor, this was reduced to 3 – improving user-friendliness and saving clinicians’ time. NHIS were also able to use their Imprivata Single Sign-On (SSO) to even further reduce the log-ins to just one. A typical SystmOne user could now authenticate by simply using their NHS Smartcard and be passed through their SafeBoot, Windows, VPN and on to their application.
During this more automated log-in process, the Monitor software is set to detect network connectivity, i.e. wired or WiFi; if these are not present Monitor will launch 3G or 4G. The user is advised of signal strength via a traffic light indicator: green for ‘go’, amber for ‘marginal’, and red for ‘there is an unacceptable level of signal present, so do not try to proceed’. Knowing whether a network connection is available saves time for the mobile clinicians, thereby adding to their productivity and user experience.
As the details of all user connections are saved by the Monitor software, management reports can be produced to identify which mobile internet service providers are enabling good service and which are not. NHIS were able to establish that by engaging with different service providers in different areas of Nottinghamshire this would provide the ideal environment for the mobile clinicians.