Added: 21st June 2021 by TPP
NHS Digital recently accredited Isosec’s Virtual Smartcard solution under their new Assurance Framework, which will allow users broader access to advanced clinical functions. A combination of SystmOne’s Internet First innovation and Isosec’s Virtual Smartcard solution will create a more accessible and efficient working-from-home experience for our users. These solutions will authorise remote access to clinical applications, without the need for an encrypted internet connection or a physical smartcard as previously required.
In light of the increasing need for remote working solutions over the past year, TPP implemented our Internet First solution in 2020. Users would have previously required a PC with an encrypted HSCN or N3 connection to access SystmOne, which restricted access almost exclusively to clinical workspaces, limiting the services which could be provided remotely. Now our users are able to access SystmOne using an ordinary internet connection when working from home.
With Isosec’s Virtual Smartcards, SystmOne users currently operating remotely through Internet First will now have access to even more crucial functions to improve the overall quality, quantity and efficiency of remote care, whilst also saving extensive time.
Clinicians ordinarily require a physical smartcard to authenticate their access to advanced functions on the NHS Spine, such as e-prescribing and Summary Care Reports. These physical cards can be inefficient and open to security risks. Therefore, Isosec developed smartcards that virtually authenticate access as an innovative response to these issues. The Virtual Smartcards require two-factor authentication to be used on mobile devices and can be instantly deregistered using the virtual Registration Authority if a user loses their device, making it a highly secure solution.
Whilst physical smartcards are costly, time-consuming and require specialist printers to create, Virtual Smartcards are stored in the cloud and are much more cost-effective and easier to issue.
Physical cards are often lost or locked by staff which presents clear security risks and requires vital administrative time to resolve. Trust’s Registration Authorities lose an average of up to 10 hours’ worth of clinical time a day unlocking physical smartcards. With Virtual Smartcards, users can reset the cards themselves in just a few clicks via a self-service portal accessible through the internet, saving approximately 30 minutes of administrative time per reset.
Virtual Smartcards are now fully accredited to work with all existing clinical systems, including SystmOne, meaning there are no barriers to interoperability. TPP and other participating suppliers are helping to provide a more consistent experience for both clinicians and patients.
Tom Hardy, Lead Clinical Systems Analyst at TPP, said: “It is fantastic news that these improvements ensure securely accessing SystmOne is not a barrier to care provision as our users react to the demands of remote working.”
Michael Latimer, CEO of Isosec, said “We have been working flat out with both TPP and the NHS to help accelerate the adoption of Virtual Smartcards and the new accreditation will help us serve even more users in the current pandemic, where fast, simple and secure authentication into a wide array of IT ecosystems and user cases in required.”
TPP is proud to have worked with Isosec on the development of their Virtual Smartcard solution to proactively support healthcare providers during these unprecedented times. In the future, TPP hopes to continue implementing dynamic solutions that will aid in the effective delivery of care, no matter the location of the user.