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September 2015 
Celtic Co-operation
Landmark agreement boosts technology collaboration between Wales and Scotland
A landmark agreement has been signed by NHS Wales and NHS Scotland, which will focus on sharing technology developments and expertise.
The new arrangement creates the Health Informatics Service Alliance and provides a formal framework that builds on existing collaboration between the two countries.
In the first agreement of its type, the alliance will support joint interests and open up opportunities to share new and existing digital solutions, to meet common requirements. NHS Wales already uses an electronic messaging system, developed in Scotland, to manage electronic referrals and discharges and cross-border exchange of patient information. Northern Ireland also uses the system for referrals and is expected to join the Wales/Scotland collaborative shortly.
The agreement is founded on the key principles of co-operation and partnership to develop new and existing services, applications and ideas to achieve greater efficiencies, economies of scale and capacity to serve the health and social care economies in the member countries.
"This collaboration will ensure that we can work together to deliver services effectively to benefit the member countries, with new opportunities to be gained from shared innovation," says NHS Wales Informatics Service Director, Andrew Griffiths.
A service management board has been established to provide a forum to consider operational requirements including maintenance, development and decommissioning and to oversee quality and user requirements.  It will also ensure sound governance and stewardship and help to embed a culture of sharing, re-use and collaborative development.
"I am looking forward to the mutual benefits to be realised through the creation of the Healthcare Informatics Alliance," Martin Irving, Associate Director Architecture and Solutions Service, National Services Scotland says. "This is the beginning a new shared arrangement that will make the most of limited financial resources and shared technical expertise."
"We are very pleased to formalise the existing collaboration between ourselves and NHS Scotland," says Mike Ogonovsky, NHS Wales Informatics Service's Head of Health and Social Care Informatics. "This will make it easier to maximise the use of resources by agreeing a shared development schedule and to prioritise shared requirements."
The electronic messaging system is known as the Scottish Care Information Gateway in Scotland and the Welsh Clinical Communications Gateway in Wales.
Text messages success
My Health Text pilot leads to national roll out
Over two hundred GP practices in Wales are using a text reminder service.
The 'My Health Text' service makes it easier for GP practices to send text messages to patients, providing messages and reminders about upcoming appointments, seasonal vaccinations or surgery closures. 
The service is rolling out across Wales following completion of a successful pilot in August. It has proven to be a great benefit with pilot practices noticing a reduction in the number of patients who didn't turn up for appointments.
"It is less expensive to contact a patient via text message than calling them or sending them a letter," says Rachel Williams, Senior Co-ordinator for Primary Care Services, who is supporting the roll out. "GP practices can also invite a patient to multiple clinics in one message. They can also contact patients in 'groups', for example all diabetics, as opposed to calling each individual patient. And there is limited work required to setup reminder messages."
The service will continue to be rolled out to GP practices that want 'My Health Text'.
High standards
New ISO 27001 shows commitment to quality standards for information security
NHS Wales Informatics Service has been awarded the upgraded version of the internationally recognised security standard, ISO 27001.
Although we've held this standard since 2010, the ISO was based on 2005 criteria. The new updated ISO can be used to link with other quality standards we have achieved or are seeking to achieve.
The ISO 27001 certificate is an assurance that says an organisation's information security is managed and maintained to high international standards.
The standard covers all types of security concerns such as online data security protocols and the shredding of confidential information to keeping workstations and desks clear.
"By upgrading we have our audit certificate which has been independently verified and demonstrates our credibility in the industry," says NHS Wales Informatics Service Head of Security, John Taylor.
Join us @ our jobs fair
Opportunity is knocking  
Our Cardiff office is holding a Jobs Fair on Thursday 24th September between 10 and 2.
You'll have the opportunity to meet with staff and learn about the organisation and the roles available.
We currently have more than twenty vacancies for software developers, testers, network and data specialists, information and business analysts, and web developers.
For further information, visit the NHS Jobs website.
Informatics in Words
Easy, simple, flexible and useful.
"We found it easy to navigate around and simple to use. To have the flexibility to be able to run reports for specific periods and for specific hospitals is particularly useful . . no doubt something that we will be using on an ongoing basis to help us with our data quality issues."
Dilwyn Bull, Business Liaison and Information Development Manager for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board talking about the new Data Quality Standards Toolkit used for monitoring the quality of NHS Wales healthcare data has been made available on the Information Services Report Portal  
The toolkit has been developed by Information Services and is designed to improve data quality by allowing Welsh health boards and trusts to see their performance against a range of national data quality measures.
The toolkit has been rigorously tested by volunteers from Betsi Cadwaladr and Aneurin Bevan university health boards. 
Direct from Directors
We're tweeting
Connect with our directors via Twitter. NHS Wales Informatics Service Director Andrew Griffiths is tweeting as "@ciohealthwales" while Medical Director Rhidian Hurle can be heard "@techcarecymru."
And don't forget, keep up-to-date with news from NHS Wales Informatics Service's Twitter account, "@NWISupdates." 
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