Introducing: iO Virtual Smartcard

Isosec’s iO Virtual Smartcard

We’d like to introduce the latest innovation from Isosec – iO Virtual Smartcard, the smart NHS identity agent.

Virtualising your NHS smartcard into the cloud means you can access it using a more convenient form of authentication, like your smartphone. iO Virtual Smartcard works with your NHS issued HR card, an RFID tag or even a biometric like your thumbprint.

With iO Virtual Smartcard you can walk to up to any desktop, scan a QR code with your smartphone, enter the passcode and you’re authenticated to use clinical applications.

Cool, right?

iO Virtual Smartcard by Isosec

Challenges without iO Virtual Smartcard


iO Virtual Smartcard addresses problems the NHS is currently facing with managing smartcards.

Smartcards are issued from your Trust’s Registration Authority (RA). Issuing physical cards takes a long time and requires expensive specialist printers for production.

Junior Doctor Intake
Taking on a new cohort of junior doctors, for example, becomes a logistical and resource-intensive undertaking. RAs travel to different locations to process new starters where they set up the RA system and printer and process each doctor one by one.

Agency Workers
A common approach with Agency Staff is to issue generic smartcards and distribute them across departments. When needed by an agency worker, a manager has to reset the passcode of an existing ‘pool’ card and update a spreadsheet with the agency worker’s details. After the shift is over, that agency worker should hand the card in. The manager then has to repeat the process of deregistering the card and updating the spreadsheet.

This process is inefficient and high risk for your Trust. In clinical system records, for example, details often read “Agency Worker 31291” instead of the specific agency worker’s name. This is usually resolved by reverting back to the spreadsheet for clarification, assuming the process was followed and records are up to date.

This longwinded process for a simple task creates a serious Information Governance issue and wastes valuable staff time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Smartcard User Woes
Smartcards can be a general inconvenience post-registration, especially if you accidentally lock your card. When this happens, you probably have to track down the RA, which may be on a different site or even unavailable in the middle of the night. You sit together whilst the RA unlocks your card. This re-registration is at least 30 minutes of valuable clinical time lost.

Isosec Virtual Smartcard QR Code Desktop

iO Virtual Smartcard


Isosec’s iO Virtual Smartcard leverages the strength of the existing RA process and eliminates the inefficiencies illustrated above. Known as eGIF Level 3, Virtual Smartcard mandates a strong identity check of the person requesting a smartcard.

  1. Once the user’s identity is asserted, the RA issues a virtual smartcard instead of a physical one. The virtual card is created in the Virtual Smartcard Cloud.
  2. The user downloads the Virtual Smartcard Authenticator App on their smartphone straight from the app store.
  3. The RA enrols the user’s smartphone for use with the virtual smartcard using a QR code displayed on their virtual smartcard portal.
  4. The user scans the QR code with the Virtual Smartcard App, enters their passcode on the smartphone and they are enrolled and ready for use… It’s as easy as that!

iO Virtual Smartcard using a smartphone
After the Virtual Smartcard is set up as above, it’s ready for everyday use. The user simply clicks Login on the iO identity agent on any workstation: Scan the QR code with the Virtual Smartcard app, enter passcode and authentication completes. iO will also launch any Spine clinical applications if configured to do so.

Please note that this is still two-factor authentication – something the users knows (the passcode) and something they have (the enrolled smartphone).

A user can still insert a physical smartcard if they wish – iO works with both physical and virtual smartcards.

Using the Virtual Smartcard using an HR card
Alternatively, an HR issued NFC card can be enrolled for use with the user’s Virtual Smartcard. In much the same way that a physical smartcard can be used with NFC, as can the HR card.

Self Service
Virtual Smartcard can be reset using self-service to avoid previously mentioned issues surrounding locked cards. After visiting the Self-Service Portal, a user enters their NHS email address to which a reset link is provided. The linked page asks the user to answer at least two security questions specified during the registration process. This allows the Virtual Smartcard to be unlocked and the passcode reset.

Each reset saves approximately 30 minutes and can be done whenever, wherever.

Security
As the Virtual Smartcard is held in the cloud, there is nothing to physically lose, share or leave in a reader. The Virtual Smartcard technology is improving a previously complex process, so compliance and risk are greatly improved. Users no longer have to battle the technology to do their jobs, they work productively together.

Analytics
The Virtual Smartcard Cloud service is built into the Isosec cloud-based analytics platform. With Virtual Smartcard it is easy to track when, where and how each Virtual Smartcard is used. This enables Trusts to learn from best practice and identify where any issues may arise. It also provides a rich set of data on how Spine applications are used; data which has not been readily available before. Isosec Analytics also enable Information Governance audits at the touch of a button.

Benefits

  • Enables the use of devices that don’t have a Smartcard reader e.g. an iPad using a virtual desktop client, or users working from home
  • Simple to adopt, solving the Information Governance issues with agency staff, bank smartcards and lack of traceability
  • No generic cards in the wild
  • Audits and analytics available at the touch of a button
  • Enables rapid access to systems for new starters or temporary/agency staff once they have a virtual card – managers can authorise their access via a management console
  • Provides a much improved user experience by enabling self-service reset of passcodes, thereby avoiding periods where cards are locked and can’t be reset due to unavailability of RAs

Future Use
Future plans for iO Virtual Smartcard include using other authentication methods. We are always looking to improve the iO Identity Agent and RFID tags and biometrics (e.g. fingerprint and iris) will be added. Authentication methods will be policy driven by individual Trust preference.

Using Virtual Smartcard for other purposes is also under consideration, like the possibility of Two Factor Authentication (2FA) for remote access over the public internet. Virtual Smartcard streamlines the authentication process by using a single two factor authentication from any device for internet access, Windows AD logon and Spine authentication for access to clinical apps.

Release Date
A number of pilots began in April 2017. A full case study with benefits realisation and business case process will be available soon. To register your interest and request a demo please visit our website or email info@isosec.co.uk and quote this blog. Virtual Smartcard will be readily available to all existing and new iO customers from June 2017. Please visit www.isosec.co.uk to download the iO brochure for information on our other Identity Agent software. You can keep up to date with the release by following us on Twitter @isosec.

Isosec shortlisted for two awards already in 2017!

We’ve really started of 2017 with a bang here at Isosec, with lots of plans to continue the momentum throughout the year.

We are very proud to announce that we are shortlisted in the 2017 British Journal of Midwifery Awards for Innovation in Practice with Shereen Nimmo, Lead Midwife from Imperial College Healthcare NHS and her community team. Shereen’s team was the pilot site for our clinical mobile app MIA Maternity, and they have completely transformed their community service delivery for women in London with better digital provisions; saving costs from previous inefficiencies, resulting in better care and outcomes for women, as well as increasing their home birth rate and breastfeeding mums.

BJM Awards 2017 Finalist

Isosec and Imperial have also been shortlisted for the HSJ Value in Healthcare 2017 Awards for the second year in a row in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology category, also for mobile app MIA Maternity. We are thrilled to be involved in the HSJ Awards again, and pleased that the panels for both awards can see the real value of digital transformation and recognise the savings and better patient care it can deliver.

HSJ Awards 2017 Finalist

Be sure to follow us on Twitter or here on the blog to find out whether we scoop an award! We have some new products launching in the immediate future, so it’s a very exciting time here at Isosec indeed! To find out more about MIA Maternity you can watch our short animated video or the full case study video at Imperial College Healthcare NHS.

Isosec conquer 90,000 challenge for Bliss baby charity

Isosec took on the ‘90,000 Challenge’ on October 8th to raise money and awareness for baby charity Bliss, who care for babies born too sick or too soon.

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Every year, 90,000 babies are admitted to hospital for specialist care – many of these babies will need lifesaving intensive care. Baby charity Bliss is there for these little ones by empowering their families and working with health professionals to ensure they have the best care possible. Bliss also supports over £10 million of research to make a lasting difference to the lives of premature and sick babies, and fights for their rights within the government and NHS.

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Isosec committed to walk a foot for every single one of the babies born premature in one year. That’s over 17 miles! We actually smashed our target and trekked a total of 22.5 miles! 

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Isosec will also be holding a 90,000 step week challenge in Manchester in November for World Prematurity Day. Check back here or email info@isosec.co.uk for more information on how to take part. If you manage to hit the 90,000 target you could even be eligible for free cake!

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So far we’ve raised over £600! You can still donate to our page for a few more weeks so please give as much or as little as you can for this worthy cause and help us to take a step for babies in need.

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You can sponsor us here and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Bliss. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this.

 

Exclusive Free Trial of MIA Maternity for RCM Conference 2016

The Royal College of Midwives Annual Conference is one of the biggest dates in our diary. Last year we met so many amazing people, all striving to improve care in Maternity departments in the NHS. This year we’re rewarding those people with an exclusive free trial of MIA Maternity.

Isosec strive to improve the working lives of Midwives with MIA Maternity, the mobile app that replaces inefficient paper processes. MIA reduces admin, travelling and as well as using that time to improve patient care, it also ensures MIA Midwives get home on time! We’ve decided to make your RCM Conference 2016 even more special… We are (very!) excited to officially announce that we are offering an exclusive free trial of MIA Maternity to attendees of the RCM Annual Conference 2016!

This includes the tablet devices, the process redesign to get MIA configured exactly to your working practices and a short pilot period*.

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Do you think this sounds like a good idea, but aren’t sure how it could work in your Trust? Or perhaps you need solid evidence of the benefits to having mobile midwives?

Imperial College Healthcare NHS will be showcasing their digital transformation journey with MIA at 12.10 on Day 1. Come along to discuss the benefits of a more efficient workforce through the use of mobile technology.

Midwives from Imperial College Healthcare NHS and our Co-Founders will be on Stand 17 both days to answer any questions you might have.

We are proud sponsors of the RCM Conference App this year so be sure to download it to plan your conference and read more about Isosec.

RCM exhibitor 2016 MIA maternity

Why not follow us on twitter @isosec to keep up with us before the event starts? We’ll be live tweeting from the event using #RCMConf16 and also posting some great tips and tricks from our MIA Midwives on #MIAMidwives.

If you would like any more information or to arrange a meeting at the RCM Conference or otherwise, please email info@isosec.co.uk or use the contact form on our website.

We’re really looking forward to meeting everyone, see you there! 

RCM conference 2016 MIA free trial

*Isosec terms and condition apply.

Streamlining Windows and clinical application logon with the NHS Smartcard

As part of our product roadmap, we are about to release our next iO product – iO Logon. I always get a little excited when we release something new and innovative, especially as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – make the NHS Smartcard able to log on to Windows and the Spine seamlessly.

First some history.

Back in the NPfIT days, we used to joke that Spine SSO (Single Sign On) was the only single sign-on system where a user had to log on twice – once for Windows with username and password (AKA AD Credentials) and then with a smartcard to access Spine clinical applications. This has been the norm for a long time resulting in delays for users wanting to get or update patient information or order tests.

We introduced Spine Session Persistence back in 2012 – the ability to keep clinical applications running even when disconnected from a virtual desktop, saving at least 30 seconds every time a user re-connected back to their virtual desktop. This helped in a big way to improve the experience for clinical users through integrating the technology better.

So, the current user experience goes something like – turn up to work, log in to Windows with username and password. Wait. Virtual desktop appears a few seconds later. Insert smartcard. Enter passcode. Select role. Clinical app starts. Wait. Wait some more. Still waiting. Clinical application now available. After some time using the clinical application, the user disconnects from the virtual desktop to return some time later. Log on to Windows again. Wait. Insert smartcard. Continue using clinical application.

Our vision is about enabling clinicians to do what they do best – treat patients using efficient supporting IT systems. Not the other way round of battling with IT systems to then deliver patient care.

iO Logon delivers just that – a fast and streamlined access to clinical applications.

The new process goes like this:

1. User walks up to a workstation and presents their NHS smartcard – either inserting it or placing it on a contactless reader

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2. User is prompted for their NHS smartcard passcode – not their Windows username and password!

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You’ll notice that there is a remember passcode tickbox meaning that user doesn’t need to enter it again until some policy defined period or event – simply presenting the card next time will allow them straight in.

And that’s it – the user is signed in to Windows and their Spine applications launch. Then, simply remove the smartcard and the user is returned to Step 1. Removing the smartcard disconnects them. Re-presenting the smartcard then simply gets them back to their applications where they left of – a matter of approximately 1 second.

From an administration point of view we’ve designed this to be as simple as possible. Registration for the iO Logon service is done by the user by simply enrolling their card when they present it for the first time:

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Obviously, there is still a management interface for setting up the various policies and de-registering cards, but that’s it.

One of the really great aspects of this new iO Logon product is around the analytics. As Edward Demming famously observed, “without data, you’re just somebody else with an opinion”. Which in the case of user log on time is very true. Just how long does it take to log on and get access to a clinical application? Isosec has his its own cloud based analytics platform that collects this information to give an unequivocal view. This view breaks down in detail to the individual aspects of the authentication process and how long it takes before the clinical app is ready. It also can show a macro view of all authentications for a particular user as well as across groups of users. This then allows bottlenecks to be identified and improvements made. I’ll discuss more about the analytics another time as we release more of our analytics roadmap functionality.

On a final note, iO Logon is part of an exciting and ambitious roadmap for iO. We are busy working through R&D for our next iO solution aimed at agency staff. More on that soon.

New NHS Tariff System Offers Good News For Maternity

“Tariff proposal would see maternity spend increase by 8 per cent” Esther Oxford, Health Service Journal, 2nd August 2016

 

The recent HSJ article suggests that with the newly proposed NHS tariff system spending on Maternity could increase by £221M, a total increase of 8.3%.

Under existing policy, providers are paid according to which care pathway an expectant mother is assigned to. In order to assign pregnant women to the right care pathway, clinicians identify which “clinical complexities” and co-morbidities a woman may develop prior to birth. Women are they then assigned according to the NHS tariff system as standard, intermediate or intensive care pathways, with trusts paid more for the most complex cases.

As a result of the new tariff system, the proportion of women put on pathways providing intensive care is expected to rise from 7.1% of expectant mothers to 11.3%, while 38.7% of women on maternity pathways will be classed as intermediate – up from 27.3% at present. Consequently the proportion of women put on maternity pathways classed as standard – the least expensive tariff – is expected to fall from 65.5% to 50%.

This is great news on the surface but in Isosec’s experience from working closely with Imperial College Healthcare NHS midwives is that the allocation of mothers to the correct category was not always given the attention it warranted. Consequently Trusts were missing out on a large amount of funding (and exposing themselves to potential risk). When the MIA Maternity app was adopted at Imperial College Healthcare NHS the data showed percentages of mums allocated to each category were far from NHS national averages. Senior midwives could soon see that there were some issues with the process (too many women being allocated almost by default to the standard category) and now provide education to their midwives to ensure that (approximately) £170k of potential additional income is recovered.

The moral of this particular piece is that although the message is inherently positive and should be applauded, data must be available to ensure that the correct costs are recovered. This is just one example of data that is very difficult to collect and evidence with paper processes and where using mobile devices will improve the system. MIA collects, evidences and analyses all data passively and presents it as part of our analytics dashboard, so a Trust can easily drill down into their own data and identify any areas for improvement. As the renowned statistician W. Edwards Deming said, “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”

NHS signage new tariff system

If you think your Trust or organisation may be missing out on revenue because of inefficient paper processes or loss of data please visit our website or arrange a MIA Maternity demo to find out more.

 

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust mobilise their community workers with solution from Isosec and Partners

Mobile app solution ‘MIA’ from Isosec means Oxleas NHS clinicians can reduce unproductive admin and travel time to be better spent on patients.

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust has been working on providing community based staff with the ability to access and update clinical records securely, whilst working remotely.

Geographically, Oxleas covers over 125 sites across the London Boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and into Kent, so mobile working is crucial to improving patient care whilst maximising efficiency and productivity.

The partnership solution between Isosec’s MIA, Servelec’s RiO and Precise Biometrics’ smartcard reader has allowed the Trust to become the first NHS organisation in the country to use the mobile working solution on an iOS platform. This provides safe and secure remote access for clinicians.

The mobile solution reduces the need for clinicians to come into base to gather and update records as they now do this directly on their tablet device.

“My ability to be out and about for most of the day certainly benefits my patients. Rather than having to come back to pick up information, to get addresses or phone numbers, I can be much more responsive.” – Daniel Baptiste, Enteral Feeding Specialist Dietician, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust

Additional benefits include:

  • Minimising unnecessary travel time and expenses
  • Reducing duplication of administrative tasks
  • Costs recovered from reducing unproductive tasks
  • Maximising data quality by supporting digital working
  • A paperlite service
  • Time gained now spent on patient care
  • Isosec Analytics provides real time usage data to measure success

Oxleas have over 1,000 users with plans to extend the service provision to several hundred more. This makes Oxleas the first Trust in the country to use the partnership solution at scale.

You can watch the Oxleas case study video or download the white paper from www.isosec.co.uk to hear users talk about the solution in more detail. If you would like to request a MIA demo please visit the website or contact info@isosec.co.uk.

Oxleas Pinewood House

Isosec fundraise for baby charity Bliss

Isosec will be taking on the ‘90,000 Challenge’ in September to raise money and awareness for baby charity Bliss, who care for babies born too sick or too soon.

Every year, 90,000 babies are admitted to hospital for specialist care – many of these babies will need lifesaving intensive care. Baby charity Bliss is there for these little ones by empowering their families and working with health professionals to ensure they have the best care possible. Bliss also supports over £10 million of research to make a lasting difference to the lives of premature and sick babies, and fights for their rights within the government and NHS.

Isosec have committed to walk a foot for every single one of the babies born premature in one year. That’s over 17 miles, which we will be trekking around the Peak District in September.

Isosec will also be holding a 90,000 step week challenge and bake sale at our Bruntwood office Blackfriars House in Manchester over the coming months to raise more awareness and funds for Bliss. Check back here or email info@isosec.co.uk for more information on how to take part. If you manage to hit the 90,000 target you could even be eligible for free cake!

Please donate as much or as little as you can for this worthy cause and help us to take a step for babies in need. You can sponsor us here and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Bliss. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this.

Bliss sponsorship banner

Isosec really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

New Isosec Website Launch

The new Isosec website is now live with new features and improved speeds as well as showcasing more products than ever before.

The website launch sees the inclusion of MIA Infant Feeding and MIA/RiO as part of our expanded product range as well as showcasing the pre-established products MIA Maternity and iO. Brochures for each solution are now available to download.

As Isosec are a rapidly expanding company we have built in the ability to take demo requests for each products through the website. Complete the demo request form with as much information as possible and a member of the team will be in touch.

Another new feature for the site is our events calendar. Here we will list which events we will be attending throughout the year, so you can arrange to meet us there. If this is something you’d like to do just take a look on the website to see where we may cross paths, then send us a message expressing your interest in a meeting.

We’ve added in new testimonials from our happy customers across the whole Isosec product range, including highlights from Oxleas NHS, Central Manchester NHS and of course Imperial College Healthcare NHS. The Imperial case study video is still our featured solution as our MIA work with the midwives there continues to expand. You can watch the accompanying Imperial case study video on the site too.

We’ve also begun to add external contributors to the blog so it’s not just the same people telling you about MIA and Isosec, it’s clinicians too. This way you can read real in depth reviews from our day to day users. You can currently read a recent blog from Award winning Infant Feeding Team Coordinator Justine Baines from Central Manchester Foundation Trust on why they’ve chosen MIA Infant Feeding.

Our old site features have had a makeover too. You will find our list of customers, our partners, some interesting facts and a history of the company. Our lovely team profile and the news section are both extended too. If you go to our Charity section you can read about our upcoming fundraising events and a profile of our Charity of the Year 2016, Bliss.

You can see all the new features on www.isosec.co.uk.

Isosec website

Award-winning CMFT team using MIA Infant Feeding app

Central Manchester Children’s Community Services: Health Visiting Infant Feeding Team are winners of the Journal of Health Visiting 2016 Award for ‘Best practice in promoting and maintaining breastfeeding’ and have chosen clinical mobile app MIA from Isosec

The national award is in recognition of the work the Infant Feeding team have done to support women in Manchester to breastfeed their babies when presented with complex or ongoing challenges. By offering a home visiting service for clients experiencing urgent feeding difficulties and delivering community sessions for ongoing feeding challenges the team are able to ensure women are given every opportunity to maintain their chosen feeding method and feel confident they receive support when they really need it alongside the ongoing care from their named Health Visitor.

The team has chosen to work with Isosec and adopt the MIA Infant Feeding app to ensure that not only are we able to capture data relating to specific types of referral with measurable outcomes, but we also make best use of client feedback that has been inbuilt into the process. Our client voice is very important to us and by collecting information around performance as well how it has impacted on the relationship between mother and baby, we feel we will be able to ensure our commissioners and service leads feel confident in our ability to provide a quality and effective service.

Our Trust values are at the heart of everything we do and we are working with Isosec to ensure MIA provides us with the opportunity to showcase our hard work.

To read the CMFT Case Study or to book a MIA demo please visit www.isosec.co.uk.

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