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Success Story: Greater Baltimore

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 7 Nov 2007

GBMC includes Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), Central Maryland's leading community hospital; Hospice of Baltimore; and the GBMC Foundation. The 292-bed Medical Center, located on a beautiful suburban campus, serves nearly 22,000 inpatients annually and provides approximately 60,000 emergency room visits.


At GMBC, employees were required to log in to multiple applications throughout the day, each with a different password. Users became frustrated trying to remember passwords and the Help Desk received approximately 800 password-related requests per month. Providing single sign-on to applications would eliminate user frustration, as well as reduce support time and costs. It would also minimize lost productivity since employees could reset passwords without making a call to the Help Desk.

Protecting confidential patient information was also a challenge. Many of the clinical users utilized a generic "workstation" login to gain access to various applications. Application auditing could be performed effectively, but the ability to track workstation usage as well as Internet usage was limited. Implementing a single sign-on and identity management solution would help GBMC increase security and improve compliance with HIPAA requirements.

Novell Solution

GBMC set up a selection committee to evaluate several single sign-on and identity management vendors including Imprivata and Sentillion before selecting a Novell solution based on Novell SecureLogin and Novell Identity Manager. Additionally, GBMC opted to utilize Novell ZENworks® to assist with the single sign-on deployment, as well as to manage and secure its desktops.

"Providing a single sign-on solution strengthens our HIPAA compliance because we can track how and when users are accessing our clinical systems," said Pat Duty, Desktop Manager at GBMC. "With Novell SecureLogin, users can also access applications easily and securely while working from home."

GBMC implemented Novell Identity Manager to synchronize user information among its directory services. Going forward, GBMC plans to integrate with the Lawson HR system as the authoritative source of user identity information. This implementation opens the door for Novell Identity Manager to automatically synchronize HR changes throughout other systems, eliminating the need for manual updating.

"One of our security officers spends most of her time updating systems with the daily hire, transfer and termination reports from the HR system," said Duty. "Novell Identity Manager can automate this process, and eliminate a high percentage of the manual effort associated with maintaining accurate user information."


Implementing Novell SecureLogin allowed GBMC to give its users single sign-on to applications, which reduced user frustration and increased security. The ability to track usage based on identity helped the hospital to better comply with HIPAA requirements. Password self-service has already reduced help desk calls by approximately 70 percent.

"We estimate that our Novell solutions will pay for themselves within a short period of time," said Duty. "We're also anticipating more than a financial payback, as the end result will be happier, more productive physicians, nurses and other employees."

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