The Oman Ministry of Health (MoH) is the primary healthcare provider in
Oman. It manages around 35,000 clinicians and administration staff in
clinics, polyclinics, health centres and 10 hospitals. These staff need access
to a wide variety of publications and medical information resources to
improve healthcare provision and support research.
Some of the most important and most heavily used resources are point-of-care
databases that doctors, nurses, and other health workers use to provide
up-to-date consultation at the clinic, hospital, and even at a patient’s bedside.
Previously, but for a few ad-hoc or site-specific services, the Ministry had no
enterprise-wide access to clinical information resources. In addition, Oman’s
240 healthcare sites are distributed across the country, many in rural areas
where there is limited IT infrastructure. For example, several sites did not
have their own IP address, making authentication security difficult. The
Ministry needed an effective way to manage and access medical information
resources for better healthcare provision. For the tender, the Oman MoH
specified that all bids had to be OpenAthens compatible.
The tender was won by Knowledge E – an OpenAthens distributor in the
United Arab Emirates serving the Middle East. The solution delivered by
Knowledge E is the Oman MoH e-library information portal. At the core of the
solution is OpenAthens MD, which securely and effectively manages user
access to online resources. The dual-language portal provides access to a
host of clinical information, including mission-critical, point-of-care databases,
for all healthcare and administration staff.
As well as designing, developing and supporting the portal, Knowledge E
also sourced much of the information content from around the world such as
the BMJ (British Medical Journal), Wiley Online Library and Elsevier Health.
Knowledge E has incorporated a dedicated search facility in the portal to
make it easy for users to find the information they need quickly.
OpenAthens enables single sign-on for users to access any resource they
are entitled to use. Administrators use OpenAthens to set access levels
depending on relevant criteria such as the need or seniority of an individual
or group. To improve management and control, OpenAthens also provides a
range of reports on how, where, when and by whom various resources are
being used. Because OpenAthens is fully hosted in Oman, it overcomes the
problem of poor IT infrastructure and removes the need for specialist IT skills.
The Ministry has been so impressed with OpenAthens that it has expanded
its use of the solution to around 10,000 unique registered users including
doctors, nurses and other health professionals across the country. The
number of users is potentially subjected to increase, as regressive training is
• Transforms the ease, speed and reliability of accessing essential medical
• Helps improve healthcare delivery and advances healthcare research in
• Fully hosted OpenAthens significantly reduces the cost and need for
complex IT skills or infrastructure
• OpenAthens addresses many of the challenges encountered during
automation of the registration process
• Automating and improving authentication makes it easier to roll out a
electronic medical library nationally
Feedback from the customer
“Excellent reporting features in OpenAthens give us a clear and accurate
picture of how resources are being utilized. In addition, it also shows detailed
statistical information about the usage by resources, and/or by users.
OpenAthens has drastically enhanced the registration process, yet it has still
overcome some of the difficulties that we needed to address.”
Mr. Saad Salaam Alyarbi
Librarian at the Royal Hospital
Oman Ministry of Health
“Our doctors and nurses rely on vital, real-time clinical information, best
practice and latest innovations to help them provide efficient healthcare
services to patients, families and the community at large. This is why
OpenAthens and the Knowledge E solution plays such a critical,
transformational role in facilitating a quick, simple and secure way to access
the point-of-care database information for our clinicians.”
Mr Zaki Abdullah Alhashmi
Librarian, Centre of Professional Training & Development
Oman Ministry of Health
“OpenAthens is an essential part of the Oman Ministry of Health e-library. It
Not only does it enable simple, quick and secure single sign-on, it also serves
as the standard authentication solution for all the world-leading publishers and
information resources our staff need to help improve healthcare services.
Since deploying OpenAthens, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the use of
our information resources.”
Dr. Said Amer Alghenaimi
Dean of Rustaq Nursing Institute & MOH e-library task force Chairperson
Oman Ministry of Health