Governmenet Invests £40m To Reduce NHS Staff Log-In Times

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Investment seeks to introduce single sign-on technologies across the NHS, where staff must currently log into up to 15 separate systems

The government said it plans to speed up IT login times for NHS staff with a £40 million investment this year.

At present, NHS staff require different login credentials for each of the IT systems they use, with some needing to log into up to 15 separate systems during the course of their work.

The arrangement can be time consuming and can create security risks if staff reuse passwords for multiple systems.

The government said the investment would support projects similar to a single sign-on initiative brought in at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, which reduced sign-in times from 1 minute 45 seconds to 10 seconds.

Single sign-on

With nearly 5,000 logins per day, the scheme saved more than 130 staff hours daily, freeing up more time to focus on patient care.

The project is to involve working with IT system suppliers to standardise logins and provide multi-factor logins such as fingerprints, ensuring trusts use up-to-date processes and integrating local and national systems.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said the plan was about the 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“Too often, outdated technology slows down and frustrates staff, and prevents them from giving patients their full attention and the care they deserve,” he said.

Modernisation

Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Dr Katherine Henderson said the college “welcomed” the programme, arguing the NHS’ current “fragmented” IT environment is “not fit for purpose”.

The investment 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”, Henderson said.

Under Hancock the government has sought to modernise NHS IT with technologies including artificial intelligence.

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