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Electronic test requests helping Cardiology services in Cardiff hospital 

February 6th 2024

A new digital service launched in Cardiff’s UHW hospital is improving cardiology services. 

It replaces the current paper-based system for sending and receiving cardiology test requests and has been a game changer for doctors, nurses, managers and patients. 

Service manager Mike Henson explained:

“With the paper process there could be problems with interpretation, we could receive inappropriate requests, and there wasn’t a consistency to the data. The new electronic system clarifies all that.  

“There are fields on the digital forms that have to be completed in order to submit, and we don’t have to try and interpret bad handwriting.  It means we receive all the information we need to make properly informed decisions about when patient tests need to be prioritised.”  


Receiving better quality and clearer information also means the tests can be processed quicker.  The Cardiology department in UHW would previously have to wait at least a day, or even longer to receive requests for scans and other appointments. The requests could come in from any department in the hospital, as well as from outreach and community clinics, and would previously have to use internal mail. Staff could have to search for copies gone missing in the post. But with the electronic system, the requests are received instantly. 


“The benefits are significant” said Mike, “It’s time saving, it’s better for the patient, it reduces the wait patients have, and it’s better for us, from a triaging perspective we can be more effective. It improves the patient experience, and it also helps our referral to treatment (RTT)  targets.” 


The test request function has been integrated into the Welsh Clinical Portal (WCP) – adding more options for healthcare professionals using the portal.

Consultant Cardiologist in UHW, Jason O’Neill said he has been impressed by the addition to the portal: 

“It’s been momentous to be able to request a scan electronically. It’s an absolute step change from paper forms. The Welsh Clinical Portal is absolutely the right place for this. There are great benefits to having a single portal, and it’s worth the work to make it happen.” 


Requesters of tests are also able to see, via the Welsh Clinical Portal, when and what tests have been requested for their patients – and can avoid ordering duplicate or unnecessary tests. Consultants and healthcare professionals in clinics are also starting to see their own time savings compared to previously having to complete paper forms. 

Consultant Cardiologist, Navroz Masani said:

 “It’s very easy and intuitive to use. I think it’s been a great job.” 

The next stage of the project will see the Electronic Test Requesting feature being made available to more users of the Welsh Clinical Portal in Cardiff and Vale Health Board, followed by a wider roll-out of the feature to more health boards.