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Government invests £40m into speeding up IT logins for NHS staff

Hospital staff could soon be able to log into hospital IT systems with their fingerprint, following a government investment of £40m.

According to a statement from the Department of Health and Social Care(DHSC), published on 4 January 2020, the investment to transform slow login times will “ease the administrative burden [and] make the working lives of NHS staff easier, freeing up time for more one-to-one patient care”.

The statement said that logging into NHS computers is one of the top technology frustrations facing clinicians.

NHS staff currently have to log into multiple computer systems when tending to a patient, with some staff reporting the need to log into as many as 15 different systems.

This can be time consuming and requires busy staff to remember multiple complex passwords or use the same one on multiple systems, which presents a potential cyber security risk.

The DHSC said the ‘logins project’ will involve working with IT system suppliers to standardise logins and provide multifactor logins, including options such as fingerprint access, rather than password-led logins.

It will also ensure trusts update their processes to give staff appropriate access permissions for the systems they need to treat patients.

Matt Hancock, the health and social care secretary, said: “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.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20207535

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