Updated Timeout Behaviour

Much like with other web based services such as online banking, if you do not interact with NHS ePortfolios for an extended period you are automatically logged out to preserve the security of your account.  The amount of time before this occurs is called the “timeout period”.  For NHS ePortfolios, the timeout period is 60 minutes.

Previously, when using a form within NHS ePortfolios, 5 minutes before the timeout period was reached, a small alert window would open, encouraging you to interact to extend the timeout period for a further 60 minutes.

This alert window would not be displayed if the timeout period was reached when viewing other areas of the service such as curricula, messaging, ticketing etc.  Furthermore, the alert window would not be displayed if you had enabled the “Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs” feature in browsers such as Google Chrome (full details on why you would not want to enable that feature can be read here: https://nhseportfolios.zendesk.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207560513).

As such, we have entirely re-engineered this functionality to make it more user friendly and this will be implemented as part of Release 21.0, on Saturday the 12th March 2016

As before, a warning message will be displayed 5 minutes before the timeout period is reached, but it will now be displayed irrespective of what area of the service the user was using before they left it unattended.  The new warning message is much more obvious to the user and clearly states it purpose:  Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 09.02.05

The warning message contains a countdown timer and, if you do not interact with the warning message, you will be automatically logged out and directed to a page that confirms that this has occurred:

timeout-message2

ePortfolio Messaging Incident – 4th November 2015

The NHS ePortfolios system contains a facility called “messaging”.  This facility allows users of NHS ePortfolios to send messages to other users without leaving the NHS ePortfolios system. In addition to allowing trainees and their supervisors to exchange messages, the facility also allows programme directors and administrators to communicate with groups of users to which they have been assigned permissions.  No messages are filtered/censured based upon content.

The NHS ePortfolios messaging facility is not an email replacement or email relay service.  Users’ email addresses are not required for the use of, and not disclosed by, the messaging facility.  If a user receives a message within this facility whilst not logged in, the NHS ePortfolios system will send a one-time notification to the users’ email address informing them that they have an unread message they may wish to check when they next-login.

On the 4th November at 10:18am, an NHS ePortfolios user with the “Physician Administrator” role, chose to use the NHS ePortfolios messaging system to send a message with two attachments to all users of the “Physician Trainee” role within the location to which they have been assigned permission (approx. 550 recipients).

The ability of the user to send a message to this audience is by design – no security system was subverted to allow this message to be sent and the message was not sent/delivered to an audience to whom the user did not have appropriate permissions.

Upon receipt by users, the “sender name” was correctly displayed as that of the user that sent the message – the sender name was not obfuscated in any manner.

Update to User Search Behaviour (TFS 19530)

As part of release 20.0 (Scheduled for deployment on Saturday the 7th November 2015), TFS 19530 will be implemented.  This work item will change how name matching is performed as part of user searches.

For the purposes of the examples below, imagine that there are three accounts within NHS ePortfolios – to which the administrator has appropriate permissions – with the following names:

  1. Joshua Falken
  2. Joshua Stephen Falken
  3. Stephen Joshua Falken

Current Search Behaviour

At present, an administrator that performs a search for a user using the search term “Joshua Falken” in the name field would see in the results list, the users named “Joshua Falken” or “Stephen Joshua Falken”. They would not, however, see “Joshua Stephen Falken”.  This is because the search facility is currently looking to find the whole search term together within the name.

New Search Behaviour

Following the deployment of TFS 19530, an administrator performing the same search  for “Joshua Falken” will see all three of the accounts listed in the search results – the order in which words within the search term appear, and whether they are adjacent, is no longer of relevanc

Expanding e-LfH integration

From Saturday the 29th August, users of the Physician Trainee, RCEM Trainee and RCR Trainee roles will be able to view details of their e-LfH learning activities within NHS ePortfolios and associate these with curriculum items and other ePortfolio resources.

Users must first “link” their NHS ePortfolios and e-LfH accounts, providing authorisation for e-LfH to share data with NHS ePortfolios. If the user has already linked their NHS ePortfolios and e-LfH accounts whilst a Foundation Trainee, this link remains in place and need not be established.

Details of e-LfH learning activities will be added to NHS ePortfolios on a daily basis once an account has been linked, so please allow 24 hours after linking for activities to be displayed.

To link your account, or view e-LfH learning activities once an account has been linked, trainees should use the new top level menu item entitled “e-Learning”.

General

Please note, only learning activities within the following e-LfH programmes in the linked e-LfH account are shared with NHS ePortfolios:

Details of learning activities completed in other e-LfH programmes or in other e-LfH accounts are not shared.

Foundation Trainees

Users of the Foundation Trainee role can view details of e-LfH learning activities completed in all programmes that are shared with NHS ePortfolios but can only link to/from activities from the following e-LfH programmes:

  • Foundation
  • Foundation 2012 (FND 12)

Physician Trainees

Users of the Physician Trainee role can view details of e-LfH learning activities completed in all programmes that are shared with NHS ePortfolios but can only link to/from activities from the following e-LfH programmes:

  • Acute Medicine
  • Acute Medicine (Acumen)
  • Anaesthesia
  • Anaesthesia (e-LA)
  • Dementia (DEM)
  • Dermatology (e-DERM)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • End of Life Care (e-ELCA)
  • Foundation
  • Foundation 2012 (FND 12)
  • ICU Echo/Ultrasound
  • Leadership for Clinicians: Medical Leadership (MLE)
  • Pathology (e-Path)
  • Radiology
  • Renal Medicine
  • Safe Prescribing
  • Sexual Health and HIV (HIV-STI)

RCEM Trainees

Users of the RCEM Trainee role can view details of e-LfH learning activities completed in all programmes that are shared with NHS ePortfolios but can only link to/from activities from the following e-LfH programmes:

  • Acute Medicine
  • Acute Medicine (Acumen)
  • Anaesthesia
  • Anaesthesia (e-LA)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • ICU Echo/Ultrasound

RCR Trainees

Users of the RCR Trainee role can view details of e-LfH learning activities completed in all programmes that are shared with NHS ePortfolios but can only link to/from activities from the following e-LfH programmes:

  • Radiotherap-e
  • R-ITI

Unscheduled downtime – Friday 8th May 2015

At 2:07pm on Friday the 8th May 2015 for three minutes and again, at 2:19pm for nine minutes, ending at 2:28pm, a failure of equipment at our hosting provider resulted in the NHS ePortfolios website at http://www.nhseportfolios.org becoming unavailable/unresponsive to some users.

During this time, users would have encountered disruption / errors as our systems transferred users away from failing devices to other, still functional, devices.

At 2:24pm, for four minutes, the NHS ePortfolios website was online, but user requests were being serviced by only one of three devices that are normally responsible for this task. At the time, around 600 users were making approximately 2,500 requests per minute. Response times from a single device would have resulted in an unacceptable user experience at this time.

Intermittent outages affecting a single device continued to be experienced until 3:23pm.

Shortly after midnight, a configuration change was performed by our hosting provider and disruption has subsequently not recurred.

Need help?

If you are having a problem with you NHS ePortfolio account please contact the Support team via the Help section of you account, or email us at support@nhseportfolios.org

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