Doctors move computers away from shared areas and add protected passwords to prevent nurses and junior staff using them, a study from York University's e-society research programme has found.

Researchers surveyed more than 200 staff from eight NHS trusts including clinicians, librarians, IT staff, and patients. The questions focused primarily on digital libraries, which are sources of non-personal health information.

They found widespread 'surface compliance' on use of computers, where staff tried to make it look like they were complying with new technology when really they were not.

In particular, doctors on wards moved computers to doctors' areas or added protected passwords, claiming that they were concerned patients might accidentally access confidential data.

However in reality, the doctors wanted to block nurses and junior staff using the computers, the study found. Researcher Ann Blandford, director of the University College London Interaction Centre, said this situation came out 'repeatedly'.

She added that people created the 'surface of compliance' because they felt technology 'subverted their role as experts'.

View the full study here