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NHS computers cause a “ridiculous” amount of time wasted for staff.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the delays experienced by workerd trying to log in to NHS computers as ‘frankly ridiculous’.

NHS Computers – The Situation.

Doctors and Nurses have come forward complaining about the slow computers and login times stating that it can take up to 17 – 20 minutes to log into computers on a daily basis. Time that could be spent preparing or taking care of patients. Mr Hancock replied “Too often, outdated technology slows down and frustrates staff, and prevents them from giving patients their full attention”

Mr Hancock also states:

“It is frankly ridiculous how much time our doctors and nurses waste logging on to multiple systems.

“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.

 

The real issues:

  • Patients not getting enough attention. 
  • Slow computers cause longer waiting times for patients and a backlog on the NHS. 
  • Security and Data Breach Issues – NHS staff currently have to log in to up to 15 computer systems which require individual login details.  This relies on them remembering multiple passwords or staff using the same password across different systems which potentially risks the security of the NHS and could lead to a data breach. 

The solution. 

Talk of governmental investment of up to £40 million to help cut the “ridiculous” waste of login time to fix computers across the NHS 

The money will be used to reduce login times and save thousands of hours for NHS staff, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.  Matt Hancock said it will help deliver “ the most basic frontline technology upgrades” to staff who are using outdated and slow systems, which stop them from providing their patients the full care they deserve. 

The newly announced money is part of larger funds announced for the NHS previously. 

“This investment is committed to driving forward the most basic frontline technology upgrades, so treatment can be delivered more effectively and we can keep pace with the growing demand on the NHS.”


Previous success. 

The investment will build on the the previous success at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, where a single sign-in for multiple systems was put in place. Also, in clinical areas, there are around 350 computers that allow up to 4 members of staff to tap in with their ID cards and change rapidly. 

 

The introduction of these systems has seen the login times fall from 15 – 20 minutes to under 10 seconds which can definitely be seen as a major success. 

What next?

The DHSC plans to also introduce multi-factor logins which could change across the country; involving tablets, fingerprint technology or even ‘tap and go’ smart cards, not only does this reduce the dependence on passwords but it also makes the system a lot more secure. 

Matthew Gould, chief executive of NHSX – the unit driving the health service’s digital transformation – said: “If you work in the NHS, the tech should not be getting in the way of your ability to do your job.