Forward thinking NHS Foundation Trust deploys PATTERNgrid to replace time consuming and convoluted hard tokens

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (LHCH) is a specialist cardiothoracic hospital which each year performs 60,000 outpatient appointments and 12,000 inpatient procedures. In 2012 the Trust was awarded the highly prestigious Health Service Journal Awards “Provider Trust of the Year”.

THE CHALLENGE

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital regards its workforce as its most valuable resource and works hard to provide its staff with fast and efficient access to the IT systems and resources they need, when they need them. This is vital to the day-to-day running of the Trust. 

The Trust had a VPN-based remote access system in place, but it involved a convoluted five-stage logon and authentication process which included the use of a hard-token, meaning it could take up to 10 minutes to gain entry. 

“This was deterring many people from using the service,” explains the IT Operations Manager at LHCH, Matt Connor. “We needed to find a replacement that would pair high levels of security, authentication and verification, to protect our systems and the confidential data residing on them, with a straightforward, reliable and quick sign-in process to encourage widespread usage.” 

THE SOLUTION

The Trust is forward thinking in its use of technology and had already rolled out Windows 7 en masse and invested in a large number of iPads as part of its scheme to reduce paper. It also advocates a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, so the solution needed to be flexible. “The 1.5FA approach offers the perfect fit for a BYOD strategy,” explains Connor. “It means authorized staff can get fast and secure access from any device anywhere and our systems are fully protected at all times.”

Today, when a member of LHCH staff needs to logon they simply open their browser, type in the URL to launch the portal and they are presented with a screen that asks them to provide their username, password and pattern authentication passcode. 

Pattern authentication is also a future-proof solution, as should the Trust wish to introduce 2FA for access to certain resources, then they can easily roll out pattern authentication as an app, transforming any mobile device into a soft-token.

THE BENEFITS

MORE ACTIVE USERS

Since introducing the system, LHCH has reported a phenomenal uptake in the number of staff choosing to logon remotely, with 140 current active users.

SCALABLE

The scalability and administration of pattern authentication makes it easy to add and remove users.

EASY ACCESS

Procurement staff can now logon and sign-off orders, radiologists have easy access to the Picture Archiving & Communication System (PACs) to review X-rays, whilst management teams are able to easily access important documents and emails when off-site.

IMPROVED EFFICIENCY

You can have access to the right information at the right time, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of processes.

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This Case study looks at how a forward thinking NHS Foundation Trust deploys pattern authentication to replace time consuming and convoluted hard tokens.

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