Published on: 19th October 2016

Here at Frank Health we use a Content Management System (CMS) that already has several ways of authenticating users built in.

These allow users to sign in using their Twitter, Facebook, or Google accounts, in addition to the ‘standard’ type of authentication that is ready ‘out of the box’.

However, as we have worked closely with a large number of NHS Trusts and organisations over the years, each with many thousands of users across a number of locations, there has been a clear need for a manageable solution for controlling authentication using systems that are already in use.

By harnessing these existing systems, we are able to save our clients a lot of time and effort, by negating the need for lengthy and costly training courses for their administration staff.

Ideally, each client organisation would carry on doing what they do best- provide an excellent level of care for their patients, without having to master new ways to get the vital information they need.

Extranets can deliver reference information to assist with day to day operation, even if a healthcare practitioner is accessing the information on a mobile device.

NHS staff will have been provided a login for their network system.  Frank Health can use this to make everything quicker and easier for all involved- using ‘Single Sign On’.

What is Single Sign On?

Single Sign On is different to a ‘Single Password’ system, as that method of authenticating users describes how each individual application has the same username and password within their normal methods of logging in.

A ‘Single Password’ system can be hard to maintain, as administrators would need to find a way of keeping each of the separate logins updated, every time one was updated, and re-implement this every time each application was upgraded to the latest version.

The term ‘Single Sign On’ or ‘SSO’ describes how users of a network can login once, and then be granted access to a range of different applications.

This could be that a user within an office network logs into their computer and can then go to a proprietary application, such as SharePoint or a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system such as Salesforce, without having to enter their login details again.

With careful configuration, the users of a network can then seamlessly get into whichever systems they need to just by identifying themselves once.

When the user no longer needs to access these services, they can logout once from the network.
Additionally, if a user needs to update their details in any way, they can do this by making the change in one central location- usually within the organisation’s “Active Directory” or “AD”- where all user and privileges information is held for any particular network.  This information can then be pulled into the Extranet instantly, keeping contact lists up to date.

If a user ever leaves a Trust, IT administrators only need to deactivate their Active Directory account, meaning any past access to the Trust’s systems is instantly revoked.

What Frank Health can deliver

Frank Health have built a fully featured package that allows communication between an organisation’s Active Directory and their Frank Health Extranet. This means users can use their network login to instantly gain access to the things they need, without having to remember their username and password.

If you would like to know more about the technologies we have used to achieve this, and how your organisation can benefit from our technical expertise, get in touch today for a no obligation chat.