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Research Highlights Increased Need for Single Sign-On Technology in the Healthcare Industry

HIMSS Analytics reveals spending on single sign-on technology will top healthcare security purchases in the next two years

WALTHAM, Mass.
September 18, 2006

Implementing single sign-on is a critical step in driving both electronic health record adoption and simplifying access to the applications required to improve patient care, according to a new healthcare IT study by HIMSS Analytics. Sponsored by Novell®, the study underscores the importance of a long term, comprehensive strategy around password management that addresses both healthcare and non-healthcare applications. The study concludes that single sign-on can be a valuable tool for healthcare organizations worldwide seeking to balance patient privacy with the need for access to patient health records.

“Our survey found that single sign-on is a balancing act between protecting patient health information and making it as easy as possible for authorized users to authenticate to the network,” said Jack Price, vice president, Services, HIMSS Analytics. “Compliance, reduced operating expense, and improved customer service and productivity are all key requirements when evaluating single sign-on solutions. Healthcare organizations should look to proven technology providers who can develop and support efficient, secure clinical workflows. This is critical to the success of CPOE, EMR and other key clinical and patient safety efforts.”

The report is based on a survey of more than 100 senior IT executives involved in the IT decision-making process by HIMSS Analytics in May 2006. The survey was designed to determine how important single sign-on technology is within an overall healthcare IT strategy, as well as identify key benefits, utilization rates, and selection criteria that are important in SSO acquisition.

Key Findings:

  • 66 percent of hospitals plan to purchase single sign-on solutions in the future, and 64 percent plan to purchase those solutions within the next 24 months. In addition, one in five respondents report that purchasing single sign-on technology is in the top third of their technology priorities in upcoming years.
  • Senior IT executives are most concerned with a single sign-on technology’s capability to integrate with enterprise directories and the organization’s core clinical vendor solutions. The other requirements include the ability to integrate with other technology vendors, and support for strong authentication. Respondents were least concerned with whether the vendor has a sole focus on the healthcare industry.
  • 91 percent of respondents see improved user satisfaction as the top benefit of single sign-on technology.
  • 91 percent of respondents indicated a single user ID and password as a critical function, while 66 percent identified a quick log in/log out as a key capability.

Many healthcare organizations such as Catholic Healthcare West, Legacy Health System and Scott & White look to Novell's SSO technology as part of their overall IT security strategy.

"We needed a way to automate the management and consolidation of multiple identities from multiple databases, across multiple applications. Novell offered the best solution to help us toward our goal of single sign-on to all applications," said Michael Kramer, assistant executive director of information systems, Scott & White. "Everything we do in healthcare is important, but security is imperative. By ensuring proper access to resources, Novell gives us the ability to better comply with regulations by protecting the confidentiality of patient information."

For information on all of Novell's solutions for the healthcare market, or to request a copy of the full report, please visit www.novell.com/healthcare.

About HIMSS Analytics

HIMSS Analytics supports improved decision-making for healthcare organizations, healthcare IT companies and consulting firms by delivering high quality data and analytical expertise. HIMSS Analytics collects and analyzes healthcare organization data relating to IT processes and environments, products, information systems (IS) department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, healthcare delivery trends and purchasing related decisions. HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). More information about HIMSS Analytics can be found at http://www.himssanalytics.org.

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at http://www.novell.com.

Novell is a registered trademark and Software for the Open Enterprise is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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