Three Steps to Meet Digital Healthcare Challenges in the Pandemic Era


Expert-Led Digital Identity Strategy, Technology, and Implementation for Healthcare with Accenture and ForgeRock

The combined, specialized efforts of ForgeRock and Accenture in digital identity for healthcare, especially during a global pandemic, have provided a unique perspective. The unexpected digital transformation journey that the healthcare industry has taken from pre-pandemic to current day is staggering. Along with the front-line workers, the healthcare IT and digital experience teams that quickly made digital access and telehealth care available to the masses deserve our thanks.

With the pandemic, a new normal in healthcare has emerged. People now expect the ability to manage all of their healthcare needs online — from continuing to do telehealth visits, to checking their records, making appointments, paying bills, etc. In addition to this, from the workforce perspective, many healthcare employees are continuing to work remotely. 

While in the midst of the pandemic’s disruption, healthcare leaders should take stock of their current IT systems and environments for what’s happening today and what’s likely to happen tomorrow. 

Top Healthcare IT Priorities: Security and User Experience

In truth, the fast transition and reliance on digital healthcare services, such as telehealth, has brought a myriad of challenges. One of the most pressing is cybersecurity. According to the ForgeRock 2021 Breach Report, for the third year in a row, healthcare was the biggest target in terms of the number of breaches, accounting for 34% of the total. It was also the most costly at $474 per record.

Another challenge is attracting and retaining patients, members, and consumers within a highly competitive market. People want their digital healthcare experience to be just as easy as when they shop at a tech-savvy retailer. According to Accenture, “two-thirds of patients are likely or highly likely to switch to a new health system if their expectations are not met.” And while healthcare organizations’ budgets are strapped, Accenture also states “Organizations that improve the patient experience could potentially increase their revenues by 5% to 10% pre-COVID levels within 12 months.”

With cybersecurity and digital experience at the forefront, I and my Accenture colleagues consistently hear healthcare leaders asking the following questions: 

  1. How do I know that the person online is who they say they are?
  2. How do I protect my organization, yet make it frictionless for users to interact with us?
  3. How do I allow my employees to do their work from home, yet still protect them and our organization's assets?
  4. What's the fastest path to achieving the safety and security of sensitive patient data while meeting consumer (patient/member) experience demands?

Step One: Align Healthcare IT, Digital Experience Stakeholders, and Industry Experts

My Accenture partners and I agree that the first step to answering these questions is to have IT and customer experience stakeholders, such as the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), work together to not only protect the organization with the best security practices, but to also enable the end user with great, differentiated experiences. Additionally, security and digital experiences are only as good as the digital identity strategy, technology, and implementation you put behind them. Leveraging industry leaders for both, such as Accenture for the strategy and implementation and ForgeRock for our industry leading identity platform, is mission critical.

Step Two: Modernize IAM for Security and Experience on Your Terms

Digital identity is at the heart of addressing healthcare security and experience priorities, making modernization key. But it needn't be painful. ForgeRock allows you to coexist, migrate, or retire your legacy identity access management (IAM) systems on your terms. This flexibility allows you to create an identity modernization strategy directly suited to your timeline, scale, and budget.

With ForgeRock IAM for consumer, workforce, and internet of medical things (IoMT) use cases, you can reduce the risk of breaches and fraud while providing an exceptional experience by enabling the user (i.e. patient, member, consumer, employee, partner) to be self-sufficient. For example, modern identity security measures, such as geofencing and device fingerprinting, can be conducted in the background so the user’s digital experience is frictionless and enjoyable no matter if they're on a mobile, tablet, or computer.

Step Three: Layer AI and ML On Top of Your Current Investments

In terms of the fastest path to securing patient data while meeting digital experience demands, our collective answer is to look into solutions that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). 

For example, with so many mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare space, most companies have identity stores scattered across their enterprise in multiple systems. With ForgeRock, you can eliminate the manual processes and risk caused by human error by layering an AI-driven identity analytics solution on top of your existing identity investments. The solution, called Autonomous Identity, then determines what is good access and can be automated versus what is risky or analogous access and needs to be addressed immediately. 

Autonomous Identity allowed a major U.S. healthcare provider to identify 550,000 excess entitlements for 14.6 million assignments throughout the enterprise in under 3 hours.

Expert-Led Success with Accenture and ForgeRock

Modern digital identity strategy, technology, and implementation have never been so important, nor so complicated. You don’t have to walk the journey alone. As experts for identity within healthcare, Accenture and ForgeRock can help you craft the identity strategy, technology, and implementation you need for your specified pace and scale. 

For example, Accenture and ForgeRock helped a North American healthcare payer with over 20 million members strategize and implement their CIAM initiative. The company has since increased member satisfaction and registrations, reduced risk by securing member identity credentials, established a stable environment that can scale, and obtained readiness for their Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) interoperability requirements.

To learn more about how Accenture and ForgeRock can help your healthcare organization, watch our webinar Providing Telehealth Care While Protecting the Digital Identity or contact us today.