Single Sign On Case Study

Single Sign On speeds up access to outside patient health records

By Dorothea Howe, M.A., M.Ed.

It’s not unusual for a patient to not fully comprehend or remember exact medical procedures and medications, especially when they’re complex.

Dr. Jay Wallin, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Central Ohio’s Mount Carmel East, posits a use case for why Single Sign On (SSO) to patient records is not only more convenient and faster than logging into separate portals, but offers diagnostic benefits of easy access to patient health records from other health systems, hospitals and facilities.

Patient doesn’t know history

Here’s a scenario: A patient presents at the Emergency Department at Mount Carmel East complaining of chest pain and tells the physician that he was at Fairfield Medical Center a week ago and had something done to his heart, Dr. Wallin explains. When the doctor asks about medications, the patient replies, “I’m taking a blue pill and a white pill.” Looking at Mount Carmel’s records on this patient, the physician doesn’t see anything about heart surgery.

“I’m not sure why he’s in my ER. I’m in a pickle,” Dr. Wallin quips. But Dr. Wallin can go directly into his drop-down menu for outside sources, click on Ohio Data Exchange, and find out what occurred at Fairfield last week. The patient has had a cardiac catheterization; the blue pill is Plavix and the white is Lisinopril. Now, the physician knows how to proceed.

Shared medical records speed up diagnosis

“From the clinician’s perspective, the record may look a little different but I’m still within my EHR,” Dr. Wallin says. “It’s magic,” he says with a laugh. He’s describing access to the patient’s Community Health Record, which contains test results, care summaries and other information from encounters at different hospitals and facilities within the CliniSync network. “If I don’t feel the need for outside information, I’m not going to go into the Community Health Record. I use it with clinical judgment,” Dr. Wallin says.

But when the Community Health Record contains pertinent information, it can lead to faster diagnosis and treatment, Wallin says.

“This has everything to do with something that happened outside of my institution, and I’m going to clinically use it and bring it forward,” he says. “I could make a more accurate diagnosis. Let’s say you had an MRI at Fairfield and it was negative for something. Well, I could cut out that diagnostic step. I could proceed to treatment faster.”

Single sign on just makes workflow faster

Going into different portals and hospital feeds to receive or access patient health information can be time-consuming and cumbersome. CliniSync’s SSO functionality allows clinicians to log into their application and automatically be signed into CliniSync’s without a separate login.

So, you can log into your electronic health record (EHR) system for information on an individual patient and then, in the background, CliniSync will provide access to that patient’s data in the Community Health Record. That’s the longitudinal health record that accumulates information on your patient from different hospital visits and encounters with other health facilities within the network, which has 148 hospital participants with 126 now “live.”

Think of how you can log into Google and it recognizes you whether you’re accessing YouTube, Gmail or Facebook. This is the same way SSO works in CliniSync. Because the Community Health Record is embedded into your EHR system, you can view a patient’s record and even can print or export a summary of care (CCDA) into your EHR. And you never have to log out.

Disparate EHR systems interface through CliniSync

Mount Carmel isn’t new to Single Sign On since they’ve been using SSO and content relevant searches for a decade. But what is new is the use of the CliniSync Health Information Exchange, which is bridging the interoperability gap so disparate EHR systems can interface through the exchange. A use case below demonstrates that clinicians can access data from both Cerner and Epic systems through the CliniSync Community Health Record.

The use case Dr. Wallin shared involves a 58-year-old man who came in for a knee replacement. The doctor was able to look at the internal Mount Carmel Cerner PowerChart records to see the patient’s history. He reviewed the patient record to determine if the patient was at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When he looked up the patient in CliniSync’s Community Health record, he found the patient had previously visited Genesis HealthCare System in Zanesville, which uses Epic for its EHR. He opened a document that showed him that the patient’s leg had been scanned and he didn’t have DVT, which then meant Dr. Wallin didn’t have to treat that patient with a prophylactic, such as Coumadin or Warfarin.

“It saves time. The winner is the patient. The faster I can get relevant information, the better off we’re all going to be,” Dr. Wallin says.


To learn more about Mount Carmel Health System, go to

For a full PDF of the story, click here.

For a Fact Sheet on Single Sign On, click here.



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