Across the NHS the line continues to blur between the digital and physical worlds. Closer alignment has meant that the management of people and devices is becoming increasingly complex, yet the sector is under increasing scrutiny to be more efficient and cost-sensitive.
IT infrastructure plays an integral role in solving this challenge to simplify processes. System automation provides the only real solution to ensure the NHS can deliver the scale of digital transformation required.
Access for the masses
With more than 1.1 million employed in the NHS and countless numbers of them with devices requiring access to computer systems, the NHS faces a significant challenge to control usage and access, as well as safeguarding Trusts’ assets.
Gartner’s report on ‘Identity and Access Management Program Primer for 2017’ provides advice on the activities that should be undertaken by organisations. It recommends “Defining a comprehensive IAM (Identity and Access Management) vision that promotes desired security, risk and business outcomes and upholds strategic and tactical plans.”
In all plans, the balance must be right to enable the workers to use digital tools to enhance their role, but ensure the right level of security and risk management. This can only be achieved if the outcomes are evident and processes are adopted by staff, as Gartner explains: “…a successful IAM program becomes an imperative for all IT and business leaders within an organisation.”
Yet, many NHS organisations still have cumbersome processes in place for user management. Creating new accounts, updating existing records or timely disabling those who have left an organisation across all systems is, for many, still a manual laborious task.
Digital NHS success
Inputting the same data into multiple systems, in a dynamic environment such as the NHS, is ineffective and inefficient. BDS Solutions’ Directory Manager synchronises the Electronic Staff Record system, NHSmail and Active Directory. Automating the integration of these systems ensures accuracy of data and provides a single and comprehensive view of the organisation. As well as freeing up IT resource, this critical step in the digital transformation process helps deliver a more secure and robust approach to managing individual details and access control.
Ensuring effective procedures to control identity and access management will be fundamental to a Trust’s digital success. The ability to manage the workforce and the increasing number of devices will only be possible if people management systems are provided with the ability to interact automatically.
From here the NHS can take positive steps towards digital transformation across a wide variety of IT systems, safe in the knowledge that access to technology is secure and not an IT-resource drain.