Community Test Units (CTUs) across Wales are now using electronic test requests for every key worker in Wales referred for a test who exhibits symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.
Key workers - NHS Wales staff, police and firefighters, prison staff and various other employees who appear symptomatic - can be referred through their health boards to be tested at any one of the 24 Community Testing Units in Wales.
Once there, CTU staff access the Electronic Test Requesting function (ETR) via the Welsh Clinical Portal (WCP). Requesting tests electronically reduces the laboratory workload and reduces transcription errors compared to processing paper requests. This is essential as the volume of COVID-19 tests increases.
Using ETR through the WCP allows the CTU staff to input the necessary information to allow the accurate distribution of results to the patients. Negative test results are text messaged directly to the patient while patients with positive tests will receive a telephone call advising them of treatment.
“It was a challenging and inspiring project to work on, and thanks to the hard work from teams across NWIS this solution – based on a well-used function within WCP – was designed, developed, tested and implemented in under 2 weeks,” says Sally Pritchard, ETR Project Manager. “We found our knowledge across the teams in NWIS of electronic test requesting allowed us to map out different options and then make informed, collaborative decisions quickly to ensure the solution was ready for the health boards to use when they needed it. The health boards were also very cooperative in getting the solution tested and up and running across all the community testing units with the support of the NWIS business change team.”
Over 11,000 individuals have now been tested via the electronic request mechanism within WCP since its rollout in early April.