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IT training needs to be better

14th October 2009

A health workers’ union is claiming that health visitors are not getting enough IT training on their local electronic patient record systems.

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A survey carried out by Unite/Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association among 530 health visitors and school nurses found that 310 had access to local electronic patient records and 92% of those had received training on the system.

But more than 40% felt their training was not sufficient and 61% had not been conducted close enough to when they had to actively use the system for work, while only half had been involved in the development of the system they were required to use.

Unite say the problem had been raised on a number of occasions by its members.

Unite professional officer Dave Munday said: “In 2001 community practitioners including health visitors and school nurses were on the margins of the internet age – now they are centre stage. The improvement in terms of access has been huge but there are still areas of concern.”

While three years ago two thirds of health visitors were sharing computers with colleagues, 42% now have their own computer.

In its Making IT Happen survey, Unite also asked its members how long it took to access a shared computer - 22% reported having to wait five minutes, 15% about 15 minutes, 11% about 30 minutes, 3% about 45 minutes and 7% more than an hour.

What it found was a significant improvement in access to computer systems for health visitors since the survey was first run in 2001.

 

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