Wales Deputy Health Minister to invest £6.2m in healthcare IT

Welsh Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced a £6.2 million investment to upgrade IT services at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

The Minister revealed the news while meeting staff and patients at Chirk Medical Centre and claims the funding will be used to create a new patient administration system.

This will record details of patients’ hospital visits, including waiting list management, medical records, inpatient treatment, outpatient appointments and emergency visits.

The project is set to replace a number of different IT systems currently being used across North Wales, improving clinical communication between hospitals, GP surgeries and community care.

It is hoped it will also improve access to the Welsh Clinical Portal, which streamlines access for NHS staff to test results, discharge letters and referrals, saving time and reducing the need for paper records.

“This investment will create a modern IT system, making it easier for clinical and administrative staff to work effectively and reduce unnecessary time spent on several different systems,” claimed Gething.

“It will improve the way staff manage information during a patient’s journey through hospital, from referral to discharge.

“The new system will eventually allow patients to tell the health board how they wish to be contacted, helping the health board to modernise appointment booking and issue reminders to reduce the number off missed appointments.

“Hospitals in North Wales received 1.27 million patient visits last year and it’s vital computer technology is able to keep pace and help staff to work effectively as they treat more people than ever,” he added.

“In Line With Digital Strategy”

Last month, the Welsh government introduced its Digital First Strategy, in which healthcare is a top priority area for the improvement of digital services.

According to authorities, the investment and development at the Betsi Health Board is in line with the strategies outlined in this document.

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