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July 2014 
LIMS in more labs
New lab system for Public Health Wales
The Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is now live in the Public Health Wales microbiology laboratory in Cardiff's University Hospital (UHW).
The new system, which improves, standardises, and modernises pathology IT systems throughout Wales was successfully implemented last month.


"We look forward to seeing a very positive benefit to patient care with outputs from our laboratories," said Dr Peter James, UHW's Microbiology Laboratory Manager. 

Hywel Dda, Cwm Taf, and Aneurin Bevan health boards are already using the new LIMS software with all other health boards scheduled to move over to the fully-networked system by early 2015.
Keeping data tidy

Data quality tools improve health information


Secondary care data has had a 'clean up' with the help of tools and new standards supplied by the NHS Wales Informatics Service.


The new standards provide health boards and trusts with the ability to 'clean up' their data at the point where they collect it.


The standards are supported by online tools developed by the Information Services team including the NHS Wales Data Dictionary (a definitive guide to definitions and interpretations of nationally-agreed data standards), the National Reference Data Service (a resource for national codes in healthcare) and the Validation at Source Service tool which automatically checks for errors in data, for example alerting users when it discovers a wrong NHS number.


All these tools have recently been upgraded and are designed to enable health boards and trusts to check their data submission for 'errors' and correct them prior to sending the file to the national Data Warehouse.


After the data is sent, it is routinely assessed against national targets using online data quality monitoring reports. Any indicators showing areas that need improvement are highlighted and fed back.


This data contains valuable information in areas such as A&E attendances, inpatient admissions, outpatient attendances, referrals and intensive care. High quality data is vital to allow accurate reporting for service improvement, financial costing, public health monitoring and performance management, as well as for direct patient care.

Happy graduation
First NHS Wales IT trainees complete apprenticeship
Seven young people are the first of their kind to complete an apprenticeship in Welsh health IT and use it as a foundation for their future careers.
The apprenticeships started in January 2013 with support from Acorn Recruitment to provide valuable work experience in the expanding field of Informatics.
"It is the first apprenticeship programme of its kind where we are growing the next generation of health information and technology professionals," said Wendy Dearing, Head of Workforce and Organisational Development at NHS Wales Informatics Service. "It is where the career path begins and I'm proud to say that all seven have completed their eighteen- month apprenticeship and have the skills they need to take forward their career."
All apprentices who have been on the scheme have gone on to secure jobs both inside and outside NHS Wales.
"The support provided by both the Informatics Service and Acorn was excellent," said apprentice Geraint Richardson (pictured right), "and we all achieved what was expected. It is a relief to have completed it and to now be reaping the rewards. I have secured a job and I know the others have been successful in securing roles. We have all gained a great deal from it."

Informatics in numbers
Talkin' bout a new generation
We've reached the 200 practices milestone!


GP practices across Wales are continuing to upgrade to new computer systems. The next generation systems will ensure GPs and their patients are able to benefit from modern digital services, both now and in the future.


Congratulations to all the practices which have already completed the migration process, and we're looking forward to working with more practices over the forthcoming months. 

Informatics in words
Making the best choices

"Accurate information can be vital to ensure that the best prescribing choices are made, and give sick patients the best chance of recovery. The Individual Health Record allows us to see this information as soon as the patient is admitted."


Sarah Gage - Ward Pharmacist  - talking about the Individual Health Record piloted in her ward in Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales. 


Read more about how the pilot is allowing clinicians and pharmacists fast access to vital information on our website.

Assessing Test Requests
Hywel Dda practice begins pilot

Early this month, Meddygfa Tywi GP practice in Nantgaredig, Carmarthen launched an eight week pilot of GP Test Requesting (GPTR).  


GP Test Requesting allows GPs and clinicians to electronically request pathology tests with their local hospital pathology laboratory, and view or print the test results.


Eight practices from across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire are taking part in the pilot project.


On completion, a formal evaluation will be undertaken by Hywel Dda Health Board.


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