3 Key Considerations for Your Healthcare IAM Roadmap

March 4, 2020
healthcare iam roadmap

Learn how a Healthcare IAM Roadmap can set your organization on the path to a successful Identity Management implementation.

healthcare iam roadmap

Dramatic changes are required in healthcare organizations to improve the quality of patient outcomes, increase access to care, protect privacy, and reduce costs in light of new healthcare technologies, including telemedicine and online resources supporting patient health. While innovation is central to improving healthcare quality, and it is also required to improve data security models while adapting existing best practices into their security programs. Unfortunately, the sensitive nature of medical data makes the U.S. healthcare industry a prime target for cyber-attacks resulting in data breaches, many of which are results from internal threats (i.e. staff and employees).

Healthcare leaders need to consider what the industry will look like in the future and think about new ways to secure technical systems to improve the patient experience throughout the care continuum.  In healthcare, leaders generally identify weaknesses or system risk points only after a catastrophic event has occurred or there is a security scare that drives action. In the words of Peter Drucker, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” As a result, healthcare CISOs have prioritized managing and protecting the patient information to prevent embarrassing breaches – a practice that often begins with an Identity Management (IAM) strategy

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An Effective Healthcare IAM Roadmap Plays a Key Role in a Successful Identity Management Program 

An Identity Management strategy is the basis of every successful IAM program. It provides the orientation and focus toward the desired future state and helps drive changes to the organization’s processes and systems to align with the new security model. A key success factor is communication to all stakeholders, securing their commitment to the program and reducing political risk during implementation. The IAM roadmap supports the process of developing an innovative security strategy, the effective communication of the strategy and of course its implementation. 

A dynamic, intuitive IAM program can prove an invaluable tool for medical facilities of every size and scope striving to maintain safe access to relevant stored data. Identity Management is far more than a technical implementation. In fact, an effective IAM program touches almost every aspect of the business. As such, CISOs are quickly realizing that an IAM Roadmap is a key component to getting the most out of their investment in Identity Management. 

When developing an IAM roadmap for a healthcare organization, it's crucial to consider three key factors for program success:

 1. Assess the Current Organization 

The first step in developing a healthcare IAM roadmap is to gain a thorough understanding of the existing organization. The current state assessment begins with team members from both the technical and operational/ healthcare functions, such as IT operations, IT security, Clinical System Owners, Physicians, Nurses, finance and human resources. The goal is to understand the current strengths and struggles in the organization, as well as building consensus between IT and practitioners, on what the desired future state should look like. 

An experienced Identity Management professional will carefully work through current policies and procedures, conduct a comprehensive survey of the healthcare organization’s processes, and interview key stakeholders. Additionally, an IAM specialist will perform a current technology inventory to gain insight on applications, systems, and tools in use. This assessment informs the IAM roadmap and guides the creation of a technology implementation plan on a strategic level, which is further refined at the tactical level and culminates in detailed project plans for implementation. 

2. User Access Review

Understanding user profiles in a healthcare organization is important when creating an IAM roadmap. First, it is important to identify the key systems that are most frequently used, how user identities are managed in those systems, and how access is managed. IAM professionals will assess vulnerabilities associated with user access management. The objective is to provide insight into the organization’s exposure to access management risks and to identify strategies to mitigate those risks. During the roadmap exercise, the team will analyze and evaluate access risk across the following assessment areas:

  • Information security policy review
  • Physical security assessment
  • Infrastructure assessment
  • Application assessment
  • User account and access review

3. Establishing and Communicating IAM Project Goals

Establishing the main objectives of an IAM program and tying them back to business goals is one of the most powerful outputs of an effective healthcare IAM Roadmap. Outlining primary project goals sets clear expectations on outcomes, helps align resources, secure IAM funding, and (most importantly) ensures that all stakeholders share a common vision. An IAM strategy is only successful when it is set in motion. This requires commitment from all internal stakeholders so that everyone pulls together and supports the development and implementation of the solution. This is precisely where the IAM roadmap comes into play. Your advantages are:

  • Political support for the IAM strategy and implementation
  • Clear illustration of IAM timeline and projects in a graphic format
  • Simple communication of the strategy through its visual impact
  • Orientation to the IAM program initiatives for all stakeholders
  • Support of the IAM program in coordination with executive management

Idenhaus IAM specialists create customized roadmaps to help healthcare organizations protect their digital data. Contact us today to discuss your IAM needs with an onsite specialist. 


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secure funding for your identity management program

One challenge almost all IT organizations face is how to get funding to build and mature their Identity Management (IAM) solution. While the technical ins and outs are well understood by IT departments, there is often a gap communicating the promise of IAM to business stakeholders in terms that are compelling.

In this webinar, we take you through the essentials of the ‘fundraising process’. If you are interested in securing IAM funding, this webinar is a great opportunity to get an experienced perspective.

Watch On-Demand Now



Idenhaus is honored to be featured in the Top 10 Identity Governance and Administration Consulting/Service Companies of 2019.

By going to work quickly to solve the most challenging cybersecurity and identity management problems, Idenhaus takes the pain out of securing corporate information and assets for companies that aspire to maximize their potential in this digital age. Click here to contact us

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