NHS Wales Informatics Services is working with health boards, trusts, Welsh Government and other stakeholders to drive forward the Improvement and Innovation Workstream (3) of the NHS Wales Digital Strategy Programme, with dedicated programmes of work in place to:
- establish a national Information Governance policy and framework
- develop the capacity and capability within our current and future workforce
- improve the quality of our data by using standards such as Snomed Clinical Terms
- share information securely and appropriately, also identified as a key priority in A Healthier Wales.
We currently collect data from numerous sources across Welsh healthcare. We store the data of more than 50 million outpatient visits and 27 million in-patient episodes of care.
We also maintain a range of other national databases covering secondary care, births, deaths, child health and more. Health boards and Welsh Government use this data to monitor, analyse, shape policy, manage and improve the care patients receive.
We are developing a new Welsh Health and Care Intelligence Portal (WHCIP). This will become the central point for accessing all our data and intelligence services and products. More information on this service will be available in spring this year.
We provide services and support that allows this patient data to be housed, organised or distributed in various ways:
- We collect and process the facts and figures that help NHS Wales run effectively and store it in a NHS Wales data warehouse, in accordance with national standards and Information Governance policies. Collected data is analysed and converted to useful information and statistics that ultimately benefits patient care.
- To give health boards, trusts and Welsh Government access to the information they need in the way they want it, we produce a range of web apps including dashboards, data quality indicators, health maps, online reporting tools and tailored e-portals.
- We aim to improve the quality of clinically coded healthcare information in NHS Wales, including details of Welsh coding standards and enhanced training programmes. We also provide a clinical coding services to clarify current classification rules and ensure data is recorded consistently and accurately.
- We support improved quality of information used in NHS Wales through standardisation – aiming for a shared understanding of words and numbers used in healthcare services. We maintain the NHS Wales Data Dictionary - a user-friendly guide to the definition, collection and interpretation of the nationally agreed data standards adopted by the NHS in Wales as well as a Data Standards services.