The NHS Connecting for Health agency continues to implement the national programme for information technology within the National Health Service (NHS). In preparation, NHS employees are being encouraged to develop their information technology skills via the European computer driving licence training course.
A postal survey of British Association of Otorhinolaryngologists members was undertaken to evaluate their levels of information technology training, competency and knowledge. Three hundred and thirty-six surgeons responded.
Most respondents had received no formal information technology training. Only 3.9 per cent had taken the European computer driving licence course.
Most surgeons felt comfortable using word processing and presentation software but were less comfortable with other applications. Junior surgeons were more confident in all areas of information technology application than senior surgeons.
Seventy-two per cent of surgeons wanted more information technology training. Most felt that such training should be routine at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
With the national programme committed to improving information technology infrastructure within the NHS, more formal training should be provided to ensure a basic standard of information technology competency amongst ENT surgeons.