Helen Thomas, interim Director NHS Wales Informatics Service and Paul Lawrence, Ascom UK Managing Director
Following a public procurement by NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS), Ascom’s Digistat clinical information system (CIS) will enable intensive care staff across Wales’ 14 standard adult critical care units to manage electronically all aspects of care. Previously, just three of Wales’ units used electronic systems from other suppliers, while the remainder used paper. The new system will transform care digitally and give staff a single source of truth for patient information.
The company won the contract after a detailed round of stakeholder events by the Welsh Critical Care & Trauma Network to establish the scope of the system, which needed to interface with key elements of the NHS Wales framework for information systems. It also had to integrate with other key national software, including the country’s hospital electronic prescribing and medication administration system, which is being developed in parallel.
Ascom is currently working with NHS Wales staff to standardise care pathways as much as possible. Individual configurations will be then tailored as Digistat is implemented at each hospital. The system will also integrate with systems from other suppliers. It will enable ICU staff to:
Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said: “Our Welsh intensive care services deliver extraordinary services helping people when they are critically ill. The introduction of this innovative technology will enhance the care patients receive and allow doctors and nurses to spend as much time as possible caring for patients. The use of technology to deliver a sustainable NHS is a key part of
A Healthier Wales, our long-term strategy for health and social care in Wales."
Ascom UK managing director Paul Lawrence said: “We are absolutely delighted to secure this important contract and look forward to working closely with NWIS to ensure a smooth rollout. Our partnership will move critical care units away from paper and on to a system that will make life easier for clinicians, freeing up thinking time in a highly pressurised environment, and provide a single source of truth for patient information. This will not only help improve patient care at the bedside, but benefit audit and research, to refine best practice and critical care structures in the future.
“Digistat’s architecture makes it uniquely suitable for Wales due to the flexibility of the software. It allows us to create a common layer interface while tailoring Digistat’s configuration to support local workflows and requirements in each unit.”
The deal is for seven years with the option to extend for a further three years and includes the end-to-end implementation of Digistat through a managed service contract. Ascom UK will begin rolling out the technology to The Grange University Hospital in Newport from early next year, followed by a phased rollout to other units until 2023. More than 10,000 people were admitted to Wales’ 198 intensive care beds in 2019.