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Allan Horii


A proximity card sounds like an ideal device for time and efficiency, but would the cost be prohibitive for a community-based physician office? I would have assumed that such security devices would only be found in enterprise-level facilities.

Alan Brookstone

I agree - cost is likely to be the issue here. However there is probably a price point at which it may be acceptable for a community based physician to purchase a proximity card. If the same practice computers that were being used for an Electronic Medical Record were also being used for access to regional lab results or diagnostic imaging reports, perhaps there could be a shared funding agreement with a health region to cover the cost of the proximity device and reader(s). The question I have is what is reasonable? $200 per physician? $300? I believe it would be important that physicians be required to carry as few authentication devices as possible. Thoughts?

Tim Janzen

We have an enterprise solution for our clinic of 20 physicians. We have reviewed a number of alternatives and keep coming back to biometrics because you don't have to remember to bring the device to work. The major drawback of proximity cards was the movement of staff through busy areas and the system becoming confused as the proper user.
Digital card readers were another alternative but there are difficulties with staff and physicians losing cards or leaving them at home. In the next 6 months, we will be implementing a biometric solution and for around the $200 per physician mark.

The only drawback thus far is that our provincial funding requires 2 factor authentication for remote access which means physicians will still need to remember their passwords when they are accessing the system out of the office. If biometrics are used at the office, there is no way the physicians will remember their usernames and passwords.

Jel Coward

Hi Tim
Can I ask (perhaps reply by email if you are reluctant to post here) which biometrics system/company you are using please?

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