February 2024


Imprivata OneSign drives a culture shift in technology acceptance, increasing productivity and improving security

Key facts

  • Location: Manchester, UK
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Employees: 5000 +


  • Encourage adoption of new technology
  • Increase clinicians’ time with patients
  • Simplify login process without compromising security


  • Fast, secure access to systems supporting security best practice
  • Reduced login times
  • Fast set-up of new users providing everyone with the same User Experience

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) provides inpatient and community-based mental health and social care for people living in Bolton, the city of Manchester, Salford, and Trafford, and offers a wide range of specialist mental health and substance misuse services across Greater Manchester, the north west of England and beyond.

The Trust employs around 4,750 members of staff, who deliver services from more than 130 locations to around 53,000 service users in a 12-month period.

Business challenge

GMMH was formed on 1 January 2017 and brings together Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) and Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. Before GMMH was formed, GMW underwent a project of digital transformation, strengthening its technology infrastructure by implementing a new patient administration system (Paris) and a new patient flow and bed occupancy solution (Extramed).

As none of the new systems interfaced to Active Directory, the Trust also decided to look for a single sign-on (SSO) and authentication management solution to streamline the login process for employees. This would remove the need for staff to repeatedly enter usernames and passwords for access to applications and patient information.

The new solution had to deliver quick and secure access to the new and existing systems and provide the required integration with Active Directory, which the trust uses to authenticate and authorise all users and computers in their Windows domain network.

With the merger with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care, the new SSO and authentication management solution also had to be extended to include new staff.

Speed and simplicity

Following a recommendation by the supplier who was deploying one of the new systems, the IT Development Team requested a demo of Imprivata OneSign® Single Sign-on and Authentication Management.

Mike Birtwistle, Development Manager at GMMH comments, “During the demo, what instantly struck us was the ease with which new application profiles could be created and implemented. There was no need for complex coding; the GUI-based Application Profile Generator tool created application SSO profiles quickly and easily. After seeing the demo, Imprivata OneSign was a simple choice.”

Imprivata OneSign was deployed alongside the new patient administration system and the bed management solution. The streamlined SSO process simplified access to the new and existing applications and provided clinicians and care staff with a positive user experience. Imprivata implemented as a mobile solution has also been deployed enabling those staff that work out in the community to access systems remotely.

Birtwistle comments, “We deployed the new systems alongside Imprivata OneSign and very quickly saw the benefits. Our users embraced having just one username and password to quickly and securely access applications, from any location. Typically, when implementing any new system, we would expect a spike in calls to the IT service desk whilst people become familiar with the system – but on this occasion we didn’t have that issue. The vast majority of our users successfully logged into the system on the first day and haven’t experienced a problem since.”

Today, 3,700 staff at GMMH use Imprivata OneSign, with the remainder of staff expected to be live by September 2018. The solution conducts over 22,000 SSO logins per week for the main Paris system. Imprivata OneSign is used on desktop PCs and laptops across the Trust and a specific configuration was developed for Surface tablets which have an onscreen keyboard.

One clinician using the new system commented, “Now I don’t need to worry about a password to access clinical systems. I can access all the systems I need to do my job and the technology is invisible.”

Business benefits

  • Enhanced user experience – Imprivata OneSign has simplified the login process for clinicians and administrators across the Trust including those that work in the community or at remote locations, which has delivered demonstrable daily benefits to users through much faster, secure access to applications. Additionally, the set-up of new users and management of user accounts is now much faster, enabling a streamlined implementation for staff formerly with Greater Manchester Mental Health and Social Care. The ease of using the solution has helped to drive a culture shift across the Trust, raising the acceptance of new technology and process change.
  • Increased productivity – Logging into the main systems multiple times each day took time and often users forgot the complex passwords they had to remember. This not only delayed the clinician or care giver from completing whichever task they needed to access the system for, it also created workload for the IT department in resetting the password. Now, with Imprivata OneSign, significant amounts of time are redirected back to patient care and IT support staff are able to focus on more proactive tasks.
  • Security best practice – With Imprivata OneSign, employees need to remember just one username and password for many of the critical systems they use daily. This avoids the need to write passwords down, or share generic logins, and because there is less risk of password fatigue, system users are likely to select a stronger password.

The way forward

The way that health and care is delivered is changing. The move towards integrated health and care models as laid out in the Five Year Forward View, commissioned by NHS England’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens, has shone a spotlight on the role of technology in provisioning new models of care.

When technology is used intuitively and informed by business and clinical use cases, well-managed IT projects become a vehicle for transformation, as experienced at GMMH NHS Foundation Trust.

Birtwistle concludes, “Deploying Imprivata OneSign has been an enabler of change, as part of a larger project allowing us to upgrade old administration systems. At the same time, we’ve been able to minimise the impact on clinical and care staff through the ease of the single sign-on process. Imprivata OneSign streamlined workflows for users who now require just the one username and password to access many applications. The deployment was seamless and has enabled us to culturally shift the perceptions of staff who now see the positive benefits of technology supporting business and clinical process change. In addition, we are able to roll out the solution across our extended community to include staff from across the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust.”

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