Providence Hospital, located in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, is a 247-bed hospital founded in 1938 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Augustine to minister to the community, in both body and spirit. The facility is best known for the expertise in cardiac care it provides through Providence Heart and Vascular Institute. With a hospital staff of more than 2,000 nurses, doctors and hospital administrators, Providence Hospital needed to standardize setup of user accounts and reduce the amount of time network engineers spent assigning rights in Active Directory.
Tony McNeil, technical manager said, “We have more demands on our department and we are not getting any additional staff because of the economic situation. Therefore, we have to work smarter and we need tools that help us work more efficiently.”
This became a perfect opportunity to put into action a permanent process for user account life cycle management utilizing Tools4ever’s complete User Management Resource Administrator solution.
Providence Hospital decided to implement UMRA to mainstream the provisioning process from the time an employee is hired and entered into the hospital developed, web based security application to the time they are entered into Active Directory. The previous process took nearly 2 days to complete before a user was ultimately provisioned in all systems. Now the process allows for an almost immediate creation of a user account with the correct provisioning. A web form allows for the assignment of group privileges and permissions to individual users. The application also creates the appropriate Exchange mailbox and creates a home folder for the employee on the appropriate share drive.
The Tools4ever consultant configured the projects, interfaces and web forms designed to complete the processing of new hires into Active Directory. Accounts are disabled in a similar fashion when an employee is terminated or leaves.
Because of HIPAA compliancy requirements, employees may not be deleted from Active Directory for an extended period of time. The User Management process not only disables the account, but also removes all security privileges from any future access. In fact, the software was able to complete this process in access. In fact, the software was able to complete this process in bulk for a group of 1,000 deactivated users in less than 10 minutes.
“There were different reasons to choose Tools4ever as our preferred provider which, among others, is the ability to customize the solution and, of course, the price. In addition, the company is very customer oriented and provide a high degree of technical skills,” said McNeil.
The immediate results of implementing UMRA have been time and money savings for the IT department.
John Postiglione, system administrator, said, “UMRA has saved us time and money. We have probably cut our admin time for new users by 80 percent. And the work is done by non-admins. Additional technical time for user updates has been reduced by 50 percent.
“UMRA has allowed us to spread the workload of network administration out to other employees in information systems to perform basic user administration tasks, so network administrators have more time to work on other projects,” he said.
Defined and optimized processes
In addition to time and money savings, Providence Hospital now has a defined process for User Account Management that can be viewed and audited at any time. The software also accommodates one-off requests with ease.
In addition to the automated processes, Providence is currently in the process of adding multiple forms to allow helpdesk personnel to securely make changes to specific groups without the need to assign helpdesk employees network administrative privileges. The hospital will continue to automate their administrative tasks and Providence Hospital continues to engage Tools4ever consultants to refine, improve and make additions to their processes.