Why do clinicians resent technology in the hospital?

Healthcare organisations are on a Digital Transformation journey and are having to radically rethink how technology, people, and processes need to change to improve outcomes for clinicians, and, most importantly, patients. To respond to the growing pressures and demands in our health and care systems it is as much a priority to understand how to deliver change as it is to implement technology that is responsive and accessible.

Within this context of Digital Transformation, are your users happy with the technology that is being implemented and that they use to do their jobs? It is often the case that the answer to that question is “no”, it is something they tolerate but it can be a source of frustration.

If accessing technology is a barrier to a clinician doing their job then one of the core behaviours this leads to is work arounds such as credential sharing, generic accounts and a general level of insecurity which, whilst perceived to be more efficient for the end user, compromises the security of data within the hospital. This can be as a result of the transformational process being focused on the introduction of new technology and not on its adoption.

The log in barrier

Clinicians come to work to help patients, they want to be able to focus on their job and not be distracted by tasks they feel unnecessary or that act as a barrier to this. Whilst technology has become a necessity in the modern hospital and clinicians accept this, the repeated need to login and retype credentials to use these systems frequently becomes a source of frustration. This leads to unhappy users who, at best, do not leverage technology, and at worst, circumvent security to remove this barrier.

Clinicians who value technology will feel empowered, utilise it more, and feel happier and less frustrated. This can also help to drive up quality and efficiency both directly, as a result of clinicians being able to access accurate data quickly, and indirectly as a result of them being able to focus more on their job and not be distracted and slowed down by accessing technology.

Good Security is about balance

Security is always a balance, in theory you can have a very high level of access security by implementing complex, frequently changing passwords on a per-system, per-user basis with multi-factor authentication included. The reality of that approach is that users will become overburdened with the requirements, frequently forget access details, become frustrated with the technology and find workarounds.

Examples such as logging in to the computer once and then not logging out as different users access the system, permanently leaving smartcards in, using simple passwords and leaving computers unlocked are all commonly seen in hospitals which have not implemented a considered approach to access security. Therefore, that theoretically high level of access security is actually quite low and can lead to compromised patient data.

The balanced approach is to ensure access security is implemented in such a way as to not act as a barrier for clinicians but to ensure that only authorised users can access systems.

The solutions offered by Imprivata are designed to support hospitals in delivering that balanced approach to access security. Imprivata OneSign® offers a single sign-on (SSO) and tap-and-go solution that enables clinicians to spend less time with technology and more time with patients. By eliminating the need to repeatedly type usernames and passwords, Imprivata OneSign allows providers to quickly and securely access clinical and administrative applications, which streamlines clinical workflows and drives EMR adoption.

It is this solution that Västra Götalandsregionen (VGR) chose to provide quick and easy access to the applications and data that clinicians required. Following deployment of Imprivata OneSign within the hospital, a survey conducted with staff suggested that 97% wanted to continue with the simplified access. In addition, the workaround that clinicians had been using such as open computers, generic accounts and simple passwords were reduced.

The end result? The unusual combination of happy users and a high level of security.


To learn more, visit VGR’s presentation “Västra Götalandregionen – Förenklad Åtkomst” on Tuesday at 16:30 in Lokal A3/4, with Mikael Johansson, project manager at VGR.

Or request a live demo at Imprivata’s stand B07:34 here.