06.01.20

£40m investment to diminish NHS staff login times

Announced today (Jan 4) by the government, slow login times for NHS staff set to be tackled by a £40 million.

NHS staff currently have to log in to numerous computer programmes when tending to a patient, with each programme requiring its own individual log in credentials. Some members of staff need to log into as many as 15 separate systems.

Staff therefore need to remember multiple login details and this can be time consuming. This may force staff to use the same password on various systems, leaving a cybersecurity risk.

This new investment will ease the administrative burden on NHS staff, freeing up time for more attentive patient care.

The funding will support projects similar to that seen at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, which implemented single sign-on technology and reduced time spent logging into multiple computer systems from 1 minute 45 seconds to just 10 seconds.

With a total of almost 5,000 logins a day, it saved over 130 hours of staff time and freed up their time to focus on patient care.

The project will focus on three main factors:

  1. Working alongside the IT system suppliers to standardise logins and provide multi-factor logins, like finger print access, rather than password logins.
  2. Making sure trusts update their processes to give staff suitable access permissions for the systems they need to treat patients.
  3. Integrating local and national systems so staff can access the full range of clinical and workforce systems to support their needs.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said:

 “I want to harness the best digital technology to improve care for patients and ease the burden on our staff. And to do that, we need to get the basics right. Too often, outdated technology slows down and frustrates staff, and prevents them from giving patients their full attention and the care they deserve.”

Dr Katherine Henderson, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:

“We welcome this new programme from the Secretary of State to help transform NHS trusts’ technology.

“Our current fragmented technology and software is not fit for purpose and results in clinicians cumulatively losing thousands of hours a year that would be better spent on the ‘shop floor’. A single login for staff will help enable this.

“It will free up clinicians to spend more time with patients and will also provide more joined up working between Emergency Departments, hospitals, GPs and community care which will only help to enhance patient care.”

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