Ascom wins all-Wales NHS intensive care contract worth £13m

Ascom has won a major contract worth £13m to develop and manage a national Critical Care Information System for Wales over a seven year period. It is the biggest-ever single contract worldwide for the global company, which operates in 18 countries

September 14, 2020

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:

  • Record patient assessments electronically
  • Manage prescriptions and drug administration at the bedside
  • Connect with bedside equipment to record vital signs and fluid balance
  • Calculate a patient’s acuity scores
  • Better manage infection control
  • Manage daily care plans
  • Create reports on results and department objectives
  • Support national audit and research needs

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. 

About Ascom

  • Ascom is a global solutions provider focussed on healthcare ICT and mobile workflow solutions. Ascom’s healthcare solutions include Nurse Call, alarm management, silent wards and mobile devices.
  • The vision of Ascom is to close digital information gaps allowing for the best possible decisions – anytime and anywhere. Ascom’s mission is to provide mission-critical, real-time solutions for highly mobile, ad hoc, and time-sensitive environments. Ascom uses its unique product and solutions portfolio and software architecture capabilities to devise integration and mobilisation solutions that provide truly smooth, complete, and efficient workflows for healthcare as well as for industry and retail sectors.
  • Ascom is headquartered in Baar, Switzerland and has operational businesses in 18 countries and employs around 1,300 people worldwide. Ascom registered shares (ASCN) are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich.
  • Established in the UK for more than 60 years, Ascom’s expertise spans hardware manufacture (hand-held devices), software development and systems integration. Ascom UK has two key divisions: Healthcare, where it works with NHS trusts and private healthcare organisations, and: Enterprise – covering retail, manufacturing, and hospitality. Ascom UK enterprise solutions speed up the flow of vital information between management systems and workers carrying out tasks – helping them to deliver efficiency improvements and cost savings.
  • In healthcare, Ascom solutions speed up the flow of vital information between clinicians – helping them to give better care and save lives in time-critical situations such as sepsis diagnosis.
  • Ascom’s management information technology is utilised by some of the UK’s leading supermarkets, FTSE 100 manufacturers and more than 1,000 exclusive hotels.
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