Welsh Ambulance Service patient records are going digital

Some of the interfaces on an electronic patient care record system that will make it quicker and easier for clinical staff to record and read medical notes.

The Welsh Ambulance Service has signed a development deal that will see all its patient records go digital. The electronic Patient Clinical Record (ePCR) will replace traditional handwritten notes and also the digital pen, which was introduced in 2015.

Chief Executive Jason Killens has signed a three-year hosting deal with Terrafix. The company will, over the next nine to 10 months, develop the software that will be used by emergency medical service teams on their service issue iPads.

The Welsh Ambulance Service generates an average 400,000 patient records a year.

Dr Brendan Lloyd, Medical Director, Welsh Ambulance Service.

Leading the implementation of ePCR is the trust’s Medical Director, Dr Brendan Lloyd. He said, “As technology has advanced, the digital pen has been superseded by fully digital solutions. The ePCR solution will bring significant benefits to ambulance staff and patients with a reduction in the reliance on paper records and improved capability to share secure information with other healthcare providers on patient journeys through the healthcare system.

“By joining data, will also have access to intelligent information that will provide a better understanding of how ambulance interventions impact on patient outcomes. This will help us to develop the care that we provide to get the best results.”

The programme has been a work in progress since 2018 when a Task and Finish group was established to create a business case for investment from the Welsh Government.

The Trust was successful in gaining funding for the project from the Welsh Government’s All Wales NHS Capital Programme in a package that secures the contract for a minimum of three years.

After a UK-wide procurement process following an NHS framework, Staffordshire-based communications expert Terrafix Limited was selected as the preferred partner.

Andy Crowther-Green, Sales Director, Terrafix, said, “Terrafix Limited are delighted to have been selected by the Welsh Ambulance Service to provide the latest version of our TerraPACE ePCR software.

The application will be tailored to meet their specific workflows and operational requirements. The new software will be deployed on mobile tablet devices and used by frontline clinicians to enhance the secure collection, transfer and storage of patient data.

“It will also interface with other clinical monitoring devices and administrative systems to help the service and other associated NHS providers to continue to provide the best possible care to patients.

“We look forward to the implementation, which we are certain will assist in enhancing the excellent services already provided to patients across Wales.”

This is the second national rollout of the TerraPace application, having already proved successful for the Scottish Ambulance Service.