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May 2014

PACS compiles patient pics

Four Health Boards live with new PACS


Four health boards in Wales are now using the all-Wales Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) to manage the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of radiology images such as x-rays and ultrasound scans


Betsi Cadwaladr University, Hywel Dda University, Cwm Taf University and Aneurin Bevan University health boards are using the system, delivered via Fujifilm's Synapse.


Velindre Trust is in the process of implementing the PACS Service whilst Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is in the planning phase.


Recent figures show there were more than four hundred image capture devices sending around 33 million images into the Synapse PACS in Wales during the first quarter of 2014, bringing the total image count to more than 534 million.

Held to the highest standards

Information security praised by international organisation 


An internationally-recognised Information Security certificate that provides assurance an institution's security management is meeting or exceeding approved standards, has been awarded to NHS Wales Informatics Service Client Services and Infrastructure Support teams.


The ISO27001, the information security management system certification presented by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), demonstrates NHS Wales is compliant with this globally-recognised  standard, and has a formal set of controls in place to provide assurance on how information is managed. This management system is audited and verified by an external organisation.  


The certification was previously awarded to NHS Wales Core Services which includes messaging services, networking services, multimedia services, Data Centre Services , security services and the National Service Desk. It has now been expanded to include Client Services and Infrastructure Support teams which handle the applications and physical hardware.


"The new certificate reflects the hard work put in by all the teams both to retain and expand the certification," says Senior Security Specialist, Andrew Glencross. "This now brings an increased level of assurances around protecting information."

Quicker than the M4
Video conference allows Welsh patient to use virtual bridge to Bristol 
A patient from West Wales who was scheduled to have specialist surgery in Bristol was able to have her pre-operative assessment carried out via video conference from hospital in Pembrokeshire, saving her the need to travel by ambulance car to Bristol.


The video conference linked the patient, her husband and a Senior Sister at Pembrokeshire's Withybush Hospital with a Consultant Anaesthetist and Pre-operative Assessor in Bristol's Royal Infirmary.


The NHS Wales Multimedia Videoconferencing team in Cardiff set up the direct secure network between the Welsh Health Video Network and England's N3 network in high definition resolution. The patient and her husband said they felt there was no difference between having a 'virtual' consultation and being there in person, and were very relieved they did not have to undergo the journey to Bristol.


The Multimedia team is increasingly using their technology for clinical needs, as well as business needs.  


"Faster networks, faster frame rate and high definition has allowed video conferencing to be used in clinical settings," says Multimedia Services Manager Stuart Nash. "It means we can add real benefits to the health service, by using fast dual stream video to show a babies heart beat to Paediatric Cardiologists in different locations, to reducing the stress of travel for patients who are unwell."  

Pharmacy software is the right prescription

Pharmacists say 'Choose Pharmacy' is a great choice 


Software developed for the 'Choose Pharmacy' minor ailments service has been rated as excellent by pharmacists.

The Choose Pharmacy Service was launched in October last year as a pilot across 32 pharmacies in Betsi Cadwaladr and Cwm Taf health boards. It is intended to free up GPs time by making pharmacies the first port of call for common minor conditions.
While a full evaluation will take place later this year, early feedback shows that pharmacists are very pleased with the Choose Pharmacy software, developed by the NHS Wales Informatics Service in collaboration with Wales' pharmacy experts.
Patients who register to use the service can be given free medicines without needing a doctor's prescription for things like hay fever, threadworm, conjunctivitis, head lice, sore throats, constipation and indigestion.
The software is an essential part of the patient's private consultation and assessment and creates a pharmacy health record. This includes information about the prescription, and any advice given.

New health check tool empowers over 50s

'Add to Your Life' provides wellbeing service online or by phone


A free new NHS Wales health check service provides an opportunity for people who are 50 or over to get an overall picture of their health, while supporting them to improve their lifestyle in small achievable steps.


 'Add to Your Life,' developed by Public Health Wales and the NHS Wales Informatics Service, provides personalised and confidential health and wellbeing information to people in response to answers they provide in a self-assessment undertaken online or over the telephone.
A large number of charities and other organisations have also been involved in co-producing the service, including Age Cymru, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan, and Mind Cymru.
'Add to Your Life' can be accessed from any device that connects to the internet, like a computer, smart phone, or tablet computer. It can also be used by telephone through NHS Direct Wales, or people can get face-to-face help from representatives of Communities First or Age Cymru.
Chief Medical Officer for Wales Ruth Hussey said: "As people get older, they are more at risk of developing cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and other long term conditions.
"The earlier the risk of such conditions are detected, the greater the chances of taking action to prevent that risk from becoming a reality.
"People will be provided with high quality advice on a range of health and social issues which can be tailored to their own personal circumstances, as well as improved access to the most effective national and local prevention services.
"Add to Your Life is also part of a greater shift in emphasis towards improving and protecting health, rather than simply treating illness."
Informatics in the News
Protecting the Gates

NHS Wales Informatics Service Head of Security Design, John Taylor appears in the May edition of IT security publication, SC Magazine discussing NHS Wales technical approach to information security.


Last month, John and an NHS Wales team of security experts were finalists for

Best Security Team in the prestigious SC Magazine Awards 2014 Europe.
Informatics @ Events
Heading to EHI Live


Three directors are speaking at the EHI Live event in November.  


Andrew Griffiths will be presenting as part of the Health Chief Information Officer Network. Andrew Macbean will talk about the delivery of IT in Primary Care in Wales, and Martin Murphy will be speaking as part of the Chief Clinical Information Officers conference included in EHI Live.

Lateral support
ServicePoint shares service with Shared Services


The Shared Services Centre in Blaenavon, which provides IT services for Gwent Police, Torfaen Council and Monmouthshire Council, is now using the NHS-Wales IT support tool ServicePoint to manage the call-logging and resolution of IT issues. This is the first time the ServicePoint tool, developed by the NHS Wales informatics Service, has been used by non-NHS Wales organisations. 


As data centre services for all three bodies are co-ordinated by the Shared Resource Service, it was a logical step to streamline the IT support management service. Previously, Gwent Police and the two councils were each using separate IT call-logging and resolution systems.


In its first week of use (over the Easter period) the Blaenavon centre logged approximately a thousand calls using ServicePoint.


Find out more about ServicePoint.

Moving forward
Health Minister wants Wales to build on its successes


Health Minister Mark Drakeford has announced the refresh of Wales' strategy on eHealth and Care and the start of an update of our information technology strategy, "to ensure the people of Wales, the NHS, health and social care can take advantage of the benefits that improved technology and information offer."


You can read the full written statement on the Welsh Government website.

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