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Illustration created by Sofi Salazar.

How Healthcare Companies Can Use Identity Management

Understand patients at a granular level, secure PHI, and integrate with emerging technologies to gain a competitive edge.

May 15, 2019

Illustration created by Sofi Salazar.

The healthcare landscape is constantly evolving. Baker McKenzie predicts that deals in the healthcare sector will increase to $331 billion in 2019. Deloitte predicts that within the industry, the average deal size will also increase — and Sapphire Ventures highlights an influx of emerging healthcare technologies in recent years.

For individual companies, this dynamic and competitive environment means that they must differentiate themselves to thrive. It's no longer enough to have extraordinary talent; staying on top of the latest technologies to deliver a positive patient experience and secure sensitive health records are essential to remaining in the game.

This could feel like an enormous task. In particular, if you’re relying on legacy systems that haven’t been updated for several years, you might be struggling to figure out where to begin to make changes that deliver ROI.

This piece will show how an identity management platform can help healthcare organizations solve several of these pain points at once. If you’re trying to stay ahead of the curve, being able to quickly and securely authenticate your users and collaborate with business partners will lay the groundwork for sustainable growth for years to come.

"The healthcare landscape is constantly evolving. Baker McKenzie predicts that deals in the healthcare sector will increase to $331 billion in 2019."


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What is Identity Management?

At Auth0, we define identity management as a set of tools and processes for authenticating individual users — making sure they are who they say they are and that they use the resource they’re requesting access to (an app or database, for example) correctly. Identity management is the cornerstone for a secure and successful organization in today’s complex and interconnected environment.

For healthcare teams, a cutting-edge identity management system is able to tackle several problems simultaneously — from gaining a deeper understanding of your patients in order to provide them with better care, to making your entire organization more secure and compliant with stringent industry regulations like HIPAA.

Here, we highlight three specific ways an identity management platform will help you thrive.

1. Create a 360-Degree View of the Patient.

Single View is becoming the norm for connecting with end users in most industries. In retail, for example, teams are consolidating disparate bits of valuable information about their customers — from social media interests to purchase histories to geography - using integrations like Clearbit that help harness the data for more personalized products and communications.

In healthcare, Single View can similarly help providers understand their patients at a more granular level. By consolidating patients’ medical records into a single source, for example, clinicians and administrators can quickly identify gaps in treatments and take preventative measures to avoid high-risk situations.

One way Auth0 is able to create this view for healthcare teams is through a centralized identity management platform. Via the Auth0 Dashboard, you can easily migrate a database of user information onto our secure server.

Auth0 Dashboard - Database Connections

From here, you can also create new databases and make updates to manage existing ones. Since this process doesn't require password resets, the migration is frictionless for users. They receive the benefits of your update at no extra cost.

As you gradually enrich patient profiles with more data, an identity provider like Auth0 will also secure API connections ( to be sure no one is calling information they shouldn't.

"In healthcare, Single View can similarly help providers understand their patients at a more granular level."


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2. Lock Down Patient Records.

According to HIPAA, between 2009 and 2018, data breaches exposed 189,945,874 healthcare records. This represents more than 59% of the U.S. population.

Number of Reported Data Breaches 2009-2018


If your organization suffers a breach, consequences are dire. Not only will your reputation suffer, but you’ll also take a substantial financial hit. If you fail to protect patient health information under HIPAA, you could be fined $100-$50,000 per violation — up to a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per year.

HIPPA Violation Penalties

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While strict regulation is an important component of keeping patient data safe, it can create headaches for healthcare teams scrambling to keep up.

A robust identity management platform can help you quickly come into compliance by proving stricter access for PHI (patient health information). Measures like step-up authentication help ensure only authorized users are allowed access to sensitive information. In more confidential situations, step-up authentication requires users to input unique identifying criteria, such as an answer to a security question or a personal biometric — over and above a username and password.

If you use Auth0, you will automatically be HIPAA compliant. As part of our partnership with healthcare teams, we offer HIPAA Business Associate Agreements to those handling PHI data.

3. Take Advantage of Healthcare SaaS.

In a world where a smooth customer experience is key, many healthcare teams have begun to integrate with SaaS solutions. These provide several advantages:

  • SaaS vendors operate and maintain the system off-premises, eliminating the need for new installation.
  • Many SaaS teams rely on cutting-edge mobile, cloud, and analytic technology — enabling them to deliver a more personalized and secure experience.
  • Because SaaS companies aren’t usually working with legacy software, they can make upgrades to their products more easily; if it’s a subscription SaaS, users receive the latest versions automatically.

SaaS companies have created apps for matching patients with doctors; accelerating cancer research; employee health and wellness education, and facilitating the use of electronic health records (EHR). Using SaaS solutions, 93% of hospitals were able to offer patients online access to their medical records in 2018.

SaaS collaboration requires federation — which enables user credentials to carry over from one domain to another. A robust identity management solution can save you months of effort by helping you scale federation for multiple customers simultaneously.

One authentication for multiple customers

Auth0 accommodates as many users as you require with Active Directory, PingFederate, LDAP, and even custom SAML-P providers.

The ability to quickly and seamlessly configure federation gives you a competitive edge and ability to adapt to new technologies as they emerge.

Keep Your Team Healthy

While your IT team likely has the tools and skills to build or upgrade an identity management system, to do it from scratch requires an enormous outlay of human and financial resources. The months of building infrastructure and migrating data will take them away from daily operations and core business projects.

Outsourcing your identity needs to experts like Auth0 can cut down on the time it takes to come up to speed with industry peers. We can provide you with immediate peace of mind, knowing that you have a team dedicated solely to your identity needs, available 24/7, and that our solutions are customizable as your organization grows over time.

About Auth0

Auth0 by Okta takes a modern approach to customer identity and enables organizations to provide secure access to any application, for any user. Auth0 is a highly customizable platform that is as simple as development teams want, and as flexible as they need. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 delivers convenience, privacy, and security so customers can focus on innovation. For more information, visit

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