NHS to receive £40m to reduce computer login times
After renewing a commitment to improve the use of technology across the NHS in England, health secretary Matt Hancock announced over the weekend that the government would provide £40m to cut the time staff have to spend logging into different computer systems.
WHY IT MATTERS
The new initiative, dubbed the ‘logins project’, will seek to standardise and provide multi-factor logins, as well as to integrate local and national systems in order to lighten the growing administrative burden on staff.
“It is frankly ridiculous how much time our doctors and nurses waste logging on to multiple systems,” Hancock said. “As I visit hospitals and GP practices around the country, I’ve lost count of the amount of times staff complain about this. It’s no good in the 21st century having 20th century technology at work.”
At some sites, clinicians said they needed to use 15 different systems, each requiring its own login details, when caring for a patient.
The implementation of single sign-on technology at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, which was recently validated at Stage 6 of the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), reportedly cut login times from 105 seconds to 10.
THE LARGER PICTURE
The announcement follows plans to launch a ‘digital aspirant’ programme for NHS hospitals, revealed by Hancock in his first speech after the UK’s latest general election.
“The programme will aim to raise the bar across the NHS by making sure organisations have a core set of capabilities in place,” the Department of Health and Social Care said in a press announcement on Saturday (4 January).
This weekend, it was also announced that local authorities in England would receive £4.5m to work on digital adult social care projects and improve the sharing of information across the NHS and social care.
ON THE RECORD
“If you work in the NHS, the tech should not be getting in the way of your ability to do your job,” said NHSX chief executive Matthew Gould. “Tech should be something you rarely think about because it just works. Today’s announcements mean we can start to tackle one of the biggest gripes staff have with their tech. It will allow staff across the NHS to spend more time with their patients and less time fighting their computers.”