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January 2014

Cross-border pilot demonstrates clinical benefit

 WCP used to capture information across Health Boards


A recent four-month pilot that allowed clinicians in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) to use the Welsh Clinical Portal to view information about patients referred from Hywel Dda Health Board has demonstrated the clinical benefits.


The Welsh Clinical Portal is a service developed by NHS Wales to make it easier for clinicians to access the patient's medical record, by uniting the information held on a number of systems within the hospital setting.


The benefits in the cross-border exchange of information are so significant the eight clinicians who took part in the pilot, seven cardiologists and one oncologist asked for the service to continue at the end of the trial period.


With many patients referred from Hywel Dda to ABMU for specialist cardiology or oncology care there was a recognised need for quicker access to pre-recorded information. Clinicians reported clinical advantage in being able to access test results instantly, without having 'to chase them up', or having to re-order duplicate tests. There was no longer a need for tests to be requested despite the fact that they had already been undertaken elsewhere.  


Dr Stephen Dorman, Consultant Cardiologist, Morriston Cardiac Centre, explained:  "The Welsh Clinical Portal cross border pilot has enabled us as clinicians to access vital test results on our patients in a much more timely fashion. In a tertiary care centre we often see patients who reside in other health boards and this facility has proved invaluable in planning and implementing their care."


Read more about how the Welsh Clinical Portal can be used across Health Boards to benefit healthcare, and how the pilot helped improve hospital transfer times on our NWIS website.

Linking to the Labs
New contract for Pathology/GP link
A contract has been agreed for a new supplier of the Pathology GPLinks service. 


The GP Links is used to transfer electronic information between health boards and GP practices, via the Data Transfer Service. The transferred information is primarily pathology and radiology results, and in some areas it is also used for sending patient discharge summaries and diabetic annual reviews.


As part of the change, it will be necessary to test that messages are successfully received by the GP Practices. Testing will be carefully planned and coordinated in consultation with the Primary care support teams in order to ensure parity with other changes affecting GP Practices currently. The testing is scheduled to take place at pre-defined pilot sites during the next few months, with the wider rollout continuing during 2014.  


The new contract will provide a single service for all of Wales, replacing the separate contracts previously held by each health board. It will be linked to the new All Wales Laboratory Information System.  
The latest on LIMS
Cwm Taf's TrakCare takes off


Cwm Taf Health Board went live successfully with the new LIMS system in the Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles hospitals in Blood Science and Microbiology in late November. 


In the meantime, the Welsh Clinical Portal became the singular way of viewing new Lab results in Cwm Taf once the new TrakCare LIMS system went live.


The joint Cwm Taf and NWIS project teams provided a significant on-the-ground presence to help staff before and after the switch-over. As a result, most staff using the Portal noticed no differences, with a relatively small number of staff calling a dedicated hotline to access training and have passwords reset.


1,870 staff logged into WCP to view 32,689 pathology results during the week of the LIMS Go Live.

How a little data can make a big difference
New Data Quality system on its way for 2014
How important is a GP Data Quality System (DQS)? A DQS helps healthcare providers measure and plan patient care.


For a practice, it can help manage patients during the flu season.


For government, it can provide the latest figures on diabetes.


For Public Health Wales, it can be their eyes on the front line during an outbreak.


A new contract will be awarded this month for a DQS for GPs in Wales. Since 2007, GP practices in Wales have been using the 'Audit+' system. As the current contact coming to an end, a new system will need to be implemented in early 2014.


Read how a Cardiff surgery is using their DQS to benefit their patients and Wales as a whole on our NWIS website.

Health Maps Wales measures the past to guide future decisions

Health Maps Wales allows users to explore data by area, map trends in data over time and make comparison at a local and national level.


In 2012, the site had over 4,500 unique users mostly from the NHS, the Welsh government and local government as well as researchers, academia, clinical networks, patient groups and charities. The top three most explored datasets were 'hospital admissions due to alcohol,' 'cancer incidence' and 'mortality from cardiovascular disease.' 


Jo Charles, Associate Director of Public Health, Public Health Wales, says, "monitoring the effectiveness of the targeted work is crucial for Health Boards and their Public Health teams. Whilst improvements can be tracked within each Health Board area, Health Maps Wales analysis of common procedures is currently the only regular source data which allows comparison across Health Board areas."



Express Delivery
GP2GP record transfers to begin this spring


A new service to provide electronic transfer of patient medical records from GP to GP will be piloted next spring.


Currently, it can take weeks for patient medical records to be transferred from one GP practice to another. The process involves printing records and sending them to the next practice, where they have to be re-keyed. 


The electronic transfer of records will make the process significantly easier and quicker.


Practices in Cardiff have been chosen for the pilot as it has a high concentration of practices in small areas, and a high volume of patient transfers between neighbouring practices, making it an ideal location to test the service.


Roll-out of the service across Wales could start by Autumn


Informatics in Words
Clear. Quick. Efficient. 

"It's by far and away the most efficient way of sending a referral," Broad says. "It's got all the information. It's clear and it's quick."


University Hospital of Wales Physiotherapy Manager Adrian Broad talking about Primary Care using the Welsh Clinical Communications Gateway ability to send referrals to physiotherapy departments in Cardiff & Vale.  

Welsh Ambulance logs on for service requests
ActionPoint to the rescue  


The Health Informatics Team at the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) are the latest to benefit from ActionPoint - a service developed by NHS Wales Informatics Service to record and track non-IT service requests.


Thanks to the speedy response from the Informatics Service Corporate Applications Team, just five days after their initial request the team started using ActionPoint for the very first time.


The WAST team are using ActionPoint to log Information Governance and Data quality requests.


Since they went live at the end of October, the team have not only been logging calls manually but also making use of additional handy tools available to ActionPoint teams.


These include a dedicated email address, which logs a call directly into the ActionPoint Team and ActionPoint Ultralite which is a web form with the facility to log calls and also view calls the user has logged previously. 
Read more on our NWIS website.


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