The Atlantic Health System

Giving physicians remote access to critical online medical information with OpenAthens at Atlantic Health System

16 May 2018 | Sophie Allen, marketing officer

The Atlantic Health System is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey, comprised of Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, and Newton Medical Center. Between them, they have 1,308 licensed beds and more than 2,750 affiliated physicians providing a wide range of health care services to the residents of Northern and Central New Jersey.

The challenge

Clinicians and other medical staff associated with The Atlantic Health System need access to a variety of medical information to ensure they keep up with the latest developments in healthcare.

Giving clinicians access to vital services was relatively simple when they were on the hospital campus and under the control and security of hospital IT systems. But remote access opened up a host of problems for The Atlantic Health System.

Many US healthcare organizations use electronic patient record systems. But while these improve services and efficiency, they also present organizations with one of their biggest challenges; ensuring patient records are absolutely secure. Any potential threats, such as giving users remote access via hospital systems, is strictly controlled.

This is a particular issue for physicians. They are usually self-employed and work in their own offices rather than being directly employed by The Atlantic Health System.

The Solution

When library staff from The Atlantic Health System heard about OpenAthens they were impressed by the remote access capabilities it provides.

"We had been looking to provide The Atlantic Health System `clinicians with a simple-to-use, yet effective solution for remote access to library information services. What impressed us about OpenAthens was how easy it was to manage and, critically, the fact that it is a cloud-based application, which immediately removed any hospital IT security issues. One member of the team commented ‘OpenAthens is the answer to all our problems’.”

Pat Regenberg, Library Manager for the Overlook Medical Center Health Sciences Library

OpenAthens sailed through The Atlantic Health System IT department’s rigorous, 16-page vetting process to ensure that no patient information could be either accessed or held in it.

OpenAthens was fully configured and providing access to all The Atlantic Health System’s library resources within two months. This included a tailored self-registration scheme to allow users to request and be validated for an OpenAthens account.

Since OpenAthens works independently from all existing IT platforms, it requires no additional IT resources, expertise or changes to existing infrastructure.

OpenAthens was acquired through TDNet, Inc., an OpenAthens business partner. TDNet, Inc. is an electronic information management company based in West Chester, PA.

"OpenAthens provides a single access point. Without it we couldn’t give staff remote access to vital services. One of the best features of OpenAthens is its individual and self-authentication capability, making it easier for users and giving us control over leavers.”

Pat Regenberg, Library Manager, Overlook Medical Center, Health Sciences Library

The results

"Users at The Atlantic Health System love OpenAthens because it gives them seamless, remote access to our many resources.”

Pat Regenberg, Library Manager, Overlook Medical Center, Health Sciences Library
  • Provides remote access to information sources without ever impacting or compromising hospital IT systems or sensitive medical information
  • Ensures library resources are being used effectively by all user groups through individual user authentication, providing greater accountability, and user categorisation statistics
  • Significantly reduces IT support time and cost because OpenAthens needs little or no IT expertise to manage and run
  • Hands back control and management of information resources to library services
  • Self-authentication and online registration service minimises administration
  • Supports staff development and hospital reputation by improving access to resources, which contribute to Continuing Medical Education (CME) online accreditation