The existing NHS programmes require staff to remember multiple complex passwords or use the same one on multiple systems

The government has announced a £40 million investment in frontline technology as the current outdated systems sometimes force NHS staff to log into as many as 15 different computer programmes.

The ‘logins project’ is expected to ease the administrative burden on NHS staff, freeing up time for more one-to-one patient care.

The existing programmes require staff to remember multiple complex passwords or use the same one on multiple systems, causing a cybersecurity risk.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt 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. 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.”

A single sign-on technology implemented at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool has reduced time spent logging into multiple computer systems from 1 minute 45 seconds to just 10 seconds.

The investment will support similar projects which help NHS staff to focus more on patient care.

The project will focus on:

  • working with IT system suppliers to standardise logins and provide multi-factor logins, like fingerprint access, rather than password-led logins
  • ensuring trusts update their processes to give staff appropriate access permissions for the systems they need to treat patients
  • integrating local and national systems so staff can access the full range of clinical and workforce systems to support their needs.

Chief Executive of NHSX, Matthew Gould, said: If you work in the NHS, the tech should not be getting in the way of your ability to do your job. Tech should be something you rarely think about because it just works… It will allow staff across the NHS to spend more time with their patients and less time fighting their computers.”

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