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Managers urged to ensure plans are in place to withdraw Internet Explorer from IT estate

by Beth Gault
3 June 2022

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Practice managers whose teams still use Internet Explorer (IE) to access NHS Digital’s web-based systems are being urged to make plans to switch browser, as it will no longer be supported by Microsoft or NHS Digital from 15 June 2022.

Practices that continue to use IE after 15 June may find that the NHS Digital web-based products and websites may not work correctly on this browser after this date.

However, NHS Digital has said its systems are compatible with other ‘modern browsers’ such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Plans should be in place with withdraw IE from health or care organisations’ IT estates, according to NHS Digital, and to install authentication software NHS Credential Management to improve data protection and security.

In a bulletin to healthcare professionals, NHS Digital said: ‘Using unsupported systems makes your organisation more vulnerable to cyber security threats and makes it more likely that you’ll experience performance or reliability issues.

‘Many of our internet-facing services also require NHS Credential Management for users to access them using modern browsers such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It provides a faster, more secure and more stable authentication solution than the one used in Internet Explorer 11.’

Teams need this credential management installed on devices that access NHS Digital systems such as Spine, including SCRa and EPS Prescription Tracker and NHS e-Referral Service.

It comes after a report suggested that healthcare staff within the NHS need ‘bespoke and specialised’ training and support in order to safely use artificial intelligence in their clinical practice.