NHS Lothian’s new computer system has won them a green award for reducing the organisation’s energy costs by up to 85 per cent.

The Sun Ray system, which is being installed across the organisation, is set to reduce energy costs for desktop PCs, resulting in savings of £1.2 million.

It enables staff across the organisation to log onto their own user profile on any desktop PC using a pre-programmed smart card.

Using the card and their password, staff can log onto their own profile within six seconds, rather than having to wait several minutes for the computer to load up.

It means clinical staff can have instant access to medical records on any computer across the organisation, and staff can work flexibly across different sites.

The system stores user profile and settings remotely rather than on each PC,  meaning they can be accessed quickly from any location in NHS Lothian.

Because the system processes software remotely, it means less energy is used on running the desktop PCs, and energy costs are dramatically reduced.

Software changes and updates can be implemented immediately across thousands of users, rather than on individual computers.

Martin Egan, Director of eHealth, NHS Lothian, said: “We introduced the thin client devices as part of our business continuity plan to ensure people are able to work from different sites and still have access to everything they would have if they were sitting at their own desk.

“They have already brought us huge benefits – reducing costs, improving access for our users, boosting our security and reducing technical complexity.

“Someone working at St John’s Hospital can pull their card out of the system, go to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, pop the card back in to one of the thin client devices, and the e-mail or web page they were looking at in St John’s will instantly appear on screen.”

Around 200 of the new machines are already in use across NHS Lothian, and a further 3,800 are being installed over the next year.

In total, it is hoped that around 14,000 can be installed across the organisation over the next few years.