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Digital access to patient images gives doctors the full picture

22 March 2021

Healthcare professionals in Wales can now see images of their patients – such as X-rays and MRI scans – at the click of a single button.

Previously doctors would have to move through several systems, or wait to receive a hard disc copy or a printed scan, if the images were taken in other locations. Now, all images are available for all patients, no matter where they are receiving care in Wales.

It means patients can receive care faster, and healthcare professionals can collaborate more easily on the best care for patients. Velindre Hospital Consultant Eve Gallop-Evans said, “To be able to view scan images of cancer patients wherever they are is critical to providing high quality care.  I can give an opinion on suitability for treatment without having to request the relevant scans.  Being able to see MRI scans facilitates emergency radiotherapy provision out of hours.”

The images are viewed using the Welsh Clinical Portal – the national patient information system created by NHS Wales Informatics Service.

Rhidian Hurle, Chief Clinical Information Officer for Wales said “This functionality makes it easier for health care professionals across Wales to see what they need to see to treat patients regardless of where the imaging tests were performed and is great news for patients and NHS Wales”

The Welsh Clinical Portal has been one of the flagship systems developed by the NHS Wales Informatics Service over the last 10 years. On 1st April 2021, the Service is transitioning to become a standalone organisation called Digital Health and Care Wales. The Special Health Authority heralds a new era for digital health and care in NHS Wales.

The Welsh Clinical Portal is a digital patient record used across hospitals and health boards in Wales. The system has recently become available as a mobile app, and is currently used by more than 27,000 NHS Wales health professionals.