3 February 2022
A new digital hospital pharmacy system is now available nationally with implementation completed over 12 months in 28 sites across seven health boards and one trust in Wales.
The system is designed to improve the accuracy of computerised dispensing and medicines stock management. Replacing 30-year-old software, it will provide better performance, greater reliability, and more efficient medicines management. It will also improve the clarity of data recorded, ensuring further compliance with national governance, meaning safer and more consistent patient care. Funding for the project was provided by Welsh Government’s Digital Priorities Investment Fund, and implemented by Digital Health and Care Wales.
Berwyn Owen, Chief Pharmacist, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said “The modernisation and standardisation of the Welsh Hospital Pharmacy Stock Management System across Wales has not just modernised an outdated system but it has given hospital pharmacy a brilliant opportunity”
He added, “This is an opportunity to do things better, together collaboratively, consistently and in a standardised manner. Whilst there are many benefits, one of the outcomes - an agreed All Wales medicines file - alone, allows us to accurately check stock across Wales and talk about the same medicines products in the same way. We can build on this, and more, to continually optimise and improve, knowing that we are all on the same hymn sheet and therefore no one is excluded from the journey.”
The consistency of one national system brings many benefits, including standard labels on hospital medications to help give patients a better experience.
Rosslyn Sharp, Lead Pharmacist in Hywel Dda explained, “The consistency helps to put patients at ease, and can make things less stressful for them.”
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said, “I congratulate the project team and staff across NHS Wales for this significant milestone. One year to deploy an all-Wales system in the middle of a pandemic is an impressive achievement. This is the first part of our commitment to transforming the way we prescribe and administer medicines across Wales, through the Digital Medicines Transformation Programme. These new digital systems will enable staff to work more efficiently and spend more time caring for patients.”
The system, developed by CareFlow Medicines Management (formerly WellSky), has nearly 2,500 users across Wales and offers a more efficient and consistent way of working across hospitals. It links medication dispensing and usage data by using nationally recognised standards, allowing for a more comprehensive, real-time view of information. This marks the first step in the journey to implement national electronic prescribing and medicines administration.
Rob Blay, CEO CareFlow Medicines Management said, “The national pharmacy project has been a resounding installation success due to the enthusiasm and dedication with which the hospital teams’ adopted our digital solution. 28 hospitals in 12 months is quite an achievement, and that was against the backdrop of Covid-19. As a result of that rapid rollout, they are already reaping the many benefits of a single pharmacy system and improving patient experience across Wales”