Berkshire NHS trust rolls out mobile apps to staff

Berkshire NHS Trust is rolling out mobile technology to its staff with savings and improved service the goal.

Berkshire NHS Trust is rolling out mobile technology to its staff with savings and improved service the goal.

The trust, which encompasses three NHS organisations, is currently providing about 120 workers with 3G-enabled laptops to access information on the network, with more workers set to be included.

The first phase is enabling district nurses to save five hours a week travelling between home visits and the office. Users have Dell laptops with Vodafone 3G built in and connect to the NHS N3 network securely through RSA two-factor authentication. They can then access any application running on their desktop PCs.

Tracy Andrew, head of information and security at Berkshire NHS Trust Health and Informatics Service, which serves the trusts with IT service, said the time and cost savings combined with improved service has stirred interest across the trust.

The trust is made up of the Berkshire healthcare NHS foundation as well as Berkshire East and West primary care trusts and it has more than 5000 IT users.

"We have not gone into the financial savings but not having to travel back and forward to update paperwork has saved time and money. We have talked to a district nurse working in child protection and she saved five hours a week," said Andrew.

"This project is being expanded," said Andrew. He said he is meeting with one of the trusts this week to present the savings that can be made.

"I cannot put a number on the savings but I am going over to one of the trusts this week to show how much they can save." He said two of the people he is visiting are from the finance departments and two are associate directors. "Business can see the value. There is a two fold benefit as you cut costs and improve service."

He said the cost of the Vodafone card is quickly recuperated through travel savings and service levels are increased by more time being spent consulting than driving.

Andrew said there is no reason why staff carrying out diverse should not be included in the project.

"Anybody that has the business need or requirement; no problem whatsoever," he said.

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