Welsh Ambulance Service to “embrace technology” for frontline staff under new digital strategy
A new digital strategy for the Welsh Ambulance Service will see it embrace technology such as iPads for frontline staff.
As well as the iPads, there will be a move to modern ‘cloud’ services through Microsoft Office 365 as well as a new electronic patient care record.
There will be four ‘digital missions’ – ‘empower the digital patient’, ‘build the digital workplace’, ‘intelligence through data’ and ‘digital foundations’.
Andy Haywood, Director of Digital Services, said: “The Welsh Ambulance Service has undergone significant transformation in the last couple of years and is today celebrated as one of the most innovative of its kind internationally in the clinical and operational space.
“Every aspect of our service is supported by technology, whether that’s our Emergency Medical Service, Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service, Clinical Contact Centres and beyond.
“This strategy recognises the fact that change is coming no matter what and gives us all the guidance to accept that change effectively and use it to positively transform what we do.
“Embracing technology and data is fundamental to enhancing our services, makes things easier for our staff and, most importantly, improves the patient’s experience.”
The app what3words, a technology which allows emergency services to pinpoint a person’s precise location, will be utilised as well as Consultant Connect, another app which has enabled paramedics to speak to specialists in short time for support and decision-making if a patient has complex needs.
In the future, the service will also introduce an electronic patient clinical record, which will see a move from paper-based patient data collection and therefore enable more efficient journeys.
A new system for managing patient information will also be introduced, making it easier for 111 colleagues to document patient encounters and share information with colleagues elsewhere in NHS Wales.
Chief Executive Jason Killens said: “Andy’s appointment in January as Director of Digital Services was the first of its kind for our ambulance service, and this strategy is testament to just how committed we are to using digital technology to enhance our services.
“We’ve had long-held ambitions in the digital arena, and the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for some of this work, which has been a silver lining through a really tough period.
“Now it’s about building on this work and making things even more streamlined for our staff, volunteers and most importantly, our patients.”
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