Children’s hospital shores up patient records


The Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust has announced today that it has adopted a new system that will protect patient data, while also giving staff better access to information.

The Foundation said that it had adopted a SmartID authentication system developed by the ANS Group and Quest Software that will give its 2000 users access to patient records right at their bedside. Importantly, this access will be tightly controlled, and will improve working practices and lead to cost-savings at the Foundation.

"The scheme has been high on the Trust's desirable developments list for some time and could dramatically transform current patient record systems." explains Russell Banks, Head of IT, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust. "The solution will allow medical and nursing staff to increase the time they spend on patient care, giving patients more of the individual attention they require, by reducing the need to log in and out of numerous systems. Other benefits include the reduction of the endless administrative paper trail, freeing up revenue, which can now be invested into other areas of improving patient care."

Medical staff can now access patient data through a wide range of devices, including bedside entertainment units, by inserting a secure NPfIT smartcard. This card, that is unique to the user, will then open up web-based NHS IT applications, enabling staff to work securely, wherever they are. The desktop, or entertainment unit, will revert back to its original mode when the card is removed. As the data is stored remotely, and information does not remain on workstations once the card is removed, the risk of data theft or loss goes down, according to ANS Group.

Martin Bradburn, Technical Director, ANS Group said, "We are very proud and excited about the potential for this solution. Implementation across the NHS would have significant benefits for medical services in the UK."

The Trust will implement the system initially as a trial on one ward, before rolling out across the foundation.