Atlantic Health SystemGiving physicians remote access to critical information
The Atlantic Health System is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey, comprised of Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center in Summit and Newton Medical Center. Between them they have 1,308 licensed beds and more than 2,750 affiliated physicians providing a wide range of health care services to the residents of Northern and Central New Jersey.
Clinicians and other medical staff need access to a variety of medical information to ensure they keep up with the latest developments in healthcare. One such source is UpToDate, an evidence-based knowledge system written and edited by a global community of 4,800 physicians that helps clinicians make the right decisions at the point of care.
Giving clinicians access to services like UpToDate was relatively simple when they were on the hospital campus and under the control and security of hospital IT systems. But remote access opened up a host of problems.
Many US healthcare organisations use electronic patient record systems. But while these improve services and efficiency, they also present organisations with one of their biggest challenges; ensuring patient records are absolutely secure. Any potential threats, such as giving users remote access via hospital systems, is strictly controlled.
This is a particular issue for physicians. They are usually self-employed and work in their own offices rather than being directly employed by The Atlantic Health System. In fact, The Atlantic Health System was paying a premium.
When library staff about OpenAthens MD (Managed Directory) they were impressed by the remote access capabilities it provides.
Pat Regenberg, Library Manager for the Overlook Medical Center Health Sciences Library, says, “We had been looking to provide clinicians with a simple-to-use, yet effective solution for remote access to library information services. What impressed us about OpenAthens MD was how easy it was to manage and, critically, the fact that it is a cloud-based application, which immediately removed any hospital IT security issues. One member of the team commented ‘OpenAthens is the answer to all our problems’.”
OpenAthens sailed through The Atlantic Health System IT department’s rigorous, 16-page vetting process to ensure that no patient information could be either accessed or held in it.
OpenAthens was fully configured and providing access to all The Atlantic Health System’s library resources within two months. This included a tailored self-registration scheme to allow users to request and be validated for an Athens account.
Since OpenAthens works independently of all existing IT platforms, it needs no extra IT resources, expertise or changes to existing infrastructure.
Users at The Atlantic Health System love OpenAthens because it gives them seamless, remote access to our many resources. In the past they had to access each service individually, but for the most important and widely-used services like UpToDate, there was no remote access at all until OpenAthens.Pat Regenberg, Library Manager, Overlook Medical Center, Health Sciences Library
- Provides remote access to information sources without compromising hospital IT systems.
- Ensures library resources are being used effectively by all user groups, providing greater accountability and statistics.
- Significantly reduces IT support time and cost because OpenAthens needs little or no IT expertise to manage and run.
- Hands back control and management of information resources to library services.
- Self-authentication and online registration service minimises administration.
- Supports staff development and hospital reputation by improving access to resources.