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Public Sector Roundup: Hospitals go high-tech

European Union calls for better disabled access on the web, Hillingdon cuts carbon, and one hospital gets single sign-on, while Poole Hospital trust upgrades its networks.

Winchester and Eastleigh NHS Trusts employ single sign-on system

Winchester and Eastleigh Trusts have teamed up with access management company Evidian to make log-in services easier for healthcare professionals. The new service allows clinicians to use all web-based services with a single user log-in and password, whereas previously they had to access up to 14 different applications with different passwords and log-ins.

Tunde Ishola, head of IM&T at Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust, said the new system will allow clinicians to focus on front-line care.

"By simplifying access to essential applications within the Care Records System, including X-ray, radiology, pathology blood requisition and JAC prescription applications, staff need only to log-in once to carry out essential daily activities, freeing up their time and resources to focus on patient care," Ishola said.

EU wants public sector websites more accessible

The European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on measures to make websites in Europe more accessible to the people with disabilities, inviting public administrations and stakeholders to give their views and ideas.

Some 15 per cent of Europeans suffer from some form of disability, the EC said, and many face barriers such as reading a website's small text or even knowing how to access websites and online services.

"Access to internet websites is essential for many citizens in Europe, yet many simply cannot use them because of disabilities," Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media said. "The more people use the internet, the better for Europe's economy and the richer becomes online content. I call on the web publishing industry and public sector administrations to make a much more determined effort to ensure the web is accessible to everyone."

Hillingdon County reduces carbon footprint by consolidating IT

The Service Desk Institute (SDI), a consulting company on service desk and IT support issues, today announced that Hillingdon County Council has reduced its carbon footprint by 28 tonnes by consolidating its IT service desks.

Hillingdon decided to centralise its ICT support department to improve and simplify its ICT operation. As part of this process, Hillingdon consolidated its five IT service support teams, which each had different methods of working and were based at varied locations throughout the Borough, into one department. They are working to create a "two to one desk" strategy, where one desk can serve two employees throughout the week.

This consolidation has also led to an increased number of employees working from home, saving 55,000 travel kilometres in the past year.

Poole Hospital NHS Trust uses wireless LAN to improve care

Poole Hospital NHS Trust is establishing a wireless Local Area Network (LAN). The network will be installed by Alcatel-Lucent Business Partner Khipu Networks and will work in conjunction with printed patient wristbands to ensure patient safety.

The new network will automate blood donation tracking and help monitor and streamline the dispensing of medicines. The network also allows the staff to share information on a patient with other staff members, with secure access to patient records and hospital resources.

"Wireless is absolutely imperative if we are to deliver the best possible quality of care to our patients," said Bob Down, the IT manager at the Trust. "With the new network, our clinical staff can instantly confirm that the right patient is receiving the right blood and the right medication, and these checks can be undertaken anywhere in the hospital - at the bedside, in theatre or on the wards. We can cut down on the paperwork while improving the safety of the services we offer."

The Trust also plans to add voice over IP (VoIP) to the network by 2009.

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