Portsmouth hospital to save time with single sign-on and context management

One of the UK's biggest hospitals is increasing efficiency and saving staff time with a single sign-on and context management system.

One of the UK's biggest hospitals is increasing efficiency and saving staff time with a single sign-on and context management system.

Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra Hospital - currently undergoing a massive extension - is rolling out a Sentillion system allowing clinicians to log on and access necessary programmes within seconds.

The project, said Philip Scott, head of IT projects and development, will make life much easier for doctors and nurses, and improve patient care.

The system will eventually link up to the hospital's electronic patient records system, currently being scanned in PDF format on to hospital databases.

Doctors will be able to either write on a paper form with a special barcode on it, which can then be scanned in to update records, or enter details straight into the system.

The project is being trailed in the critical care unit, and is linked to an imaging system for X-rays, a system for requesting lab tests and the critical care information system.

Doctors will use one password to log on to all the systems they are authorised to use, and Scott said he hoped to be able to link up to the National Programme for IT in the future, using smartcards to access local and national systems.

He said, "Before if patients had two appointments in a day, only one doctor would have the records. Under the new system doctors will be able to access and update them immediately. It is convenient, and it means doctors know what they need to know to help the patient. Plus, under the old system notes can be misfiled because people are often in such a rush.

"It also provides us with an audit trail - before, doctors and nurses would stay logged in all day with others using their accounts. It meant we didn't know who was looking at what."

The full roll out is expected to be complete by next Spring, when all historical patient records will have been scanned on to the system.

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