Cutting the time needed to login to multiple computer systems will save significant amounts of NHS staff time with a project at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool having cut the time required to login from 105 seconds to just 10.

With some 5000 logins per day at the hospital, single sign-on technology has saved over 130 hours of staff time.

Given that some NHS staff need to log into as many as 15 different systems, the potential savings are huge — which is why the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that it is investing £40 million to reduce the time needed to access computer systems.

It is not only a question of time being lost, the DHSC points out, but also of security.

With some staff having to access multiple systems, there is a temptation to use the same login details for each one and that, the Department warns, potentially creates a cybersecurity risk.

The logins project will be managed by NHSX (https://www.nhsx.nhs.uk) which brings together teams from the DHSC, NHS England and NHS Improvement.

It will focus on three main areas:

  • working with IT system suppliers to standardise logins and provide multi-factor logins

  • making sure that Trusts update their processes to give staff appropriate access permissions

  • integrating local and national systems.

Commenting on the announcement, NHSX Chief Executive Matthew Gould said that, for those working in the NHS, technology should not be getting in the way of their ability to do their jobs.

“Tech should be something you rarely think about because it just works,” he explained, adding that the project will tackle one of the biggest gripes that staff have with their tech and will allow staff across the NHS “to spend more time with their patients and less time fighting their computers”.

Last reviewed 14 January 2020