Faced with strict new password policies for the Medical Records System(MRS), Hawthorn Medical implementedDigitalPersona’s fingerprint authentication solution for its 100+ physicians and medical assistants working in their Urgent Care and primary medical facility. Finger print authentication has streamlined access to the MRS as well as assisted with HIPAA regulatory compliance mandates for securing patient data.

Security Challenge

Hawthorn Medical uses a Longitudinal
Medical Record (LMR) application to enter
patient data into its hosted Medical Records
System (MRS). Physicians and medical assistants
use multiple passwords to gain access
to confidential patient data and scheduling
on the MRS.

The need to remember various passwords
was time intensive and cumbersome resulting
in weak passwords that did not comply
with MRS policies nor HIPAA regulations.
In addition, the MRS did not time out or
lock when someone stepped away allowing
for patient data to be exposed in exam

Knowing that the MRS would soon implement
stricter password policies making
it even harder for physicians and medical
assistants to remember, Hawthorn Medical
decided to search for a secure, convenient
authentication solution that would provide
strong administrative controls.


Hawthorn Medical needed a solution that
could accommodate and track multiple
users on notebook and workstation PCs.

DigitalPersona Solution

After evaluating various solutions, Hawthorn
Medical selected DigitalPersona Pro due to
its Active Directory integration and ability to
set group policies for different departments
and users. In addition, DigitalPersona Pro
supports notebooks with embedded fingerprint
readers that physicians were using in
exam rooms.

With DigitalPersona Pro Server, the network
administrator is able to control user access
to multiple areas within the MRS.


  • Productivity – Allows physicians to see
    more patients now that they do not spend
    time retrieving forgotten passwords.
  • Administrative Control – Network
    administrator creates password policies
    for user groups.
  • Compliance – Provides audit trails to assist
    with HIPAA regulations.

The Results

DigitalPersona Pro provides authorized
physicians and medical assistants with
immediate access to patient data allowing
for additional patients to be seen every day.
Patients no longer have to wait while physicians
call the MRS help desk to retrieve
forgotten passwords.

“DigitalPersona’s solution eliminates the
need for physicians to remember passwords,
“ said John R. Tomawski, network
administrator for Hawthorn Medical. “The
time saved allows for more patients to be
seen, a significant benefit for both physicians
and their patients.”

The major benefit for the IT Department
has been the ability to set group password
policies for different departments and users.
“Securing access to the MRS has allowed us
to comply with the new password policies,”
said Tomawski. “In addition, DigitalPersona
Pro provides an audit trail needed for HIPAA

About DigitalPersona

DigitalPersona is the leading provider of
biometric authentication solutions for
enterprise networks, developers and consumer
OEMs. Founded in 1996, the company
designs, manufactures and sells flexible
solutions that improve security and regulatory
compliance while resolving password
management problems. DigitalPersona’s
fingerprint readers utilize superior optical
fingerprint scanning technology to more
accurately authenticate users regardless
of finger placement. The company’s
interoperable biometric software solutions
uniquely support the industry’s widest
array of notebooks with fingerprint readers.
DigitalPersona’s award-winning technology
is used worldwide by over 30 million
people in the most diverse and challenging