The introduction of a new computer system in hospitals has reduced the need for blood and marrow transplant patients to travel long distances to clinics after their treatment.
It is being used by the South Wales Blood and Marrow transplant programme which treats adults and children with illnesses including blood cancers and auto-immune diseases. Dr Wendy Ingram is a Consultant Haematologist (or a ‘blood doctor’) working with the programme in Cardiff’s UHW hospital. She said, “patients can be very ill at the start of their treatment, so we try our best for them not to have to travel”.
The system, known as a Welsh Results Reports Service, gives clinicians blood results for patients, no matter where they had their blood taken. So rather than travelling to have blood tests, patients can go to mobile units, or local centres, and the clinicians in Cardiff can still see the results.
The service, which is accessed via the Welsh Clinical Portal (the national computer portal for hospitals) also means the transplant team can easily track how a patient is doing prior to them arriving in Cardiff. A number of tests will have been taken at the patient’s local hospital or GP practice in the run-up to the transplant. Dr Ingram explained, “Before this service was introduced we’d be ringing round for test results, or trying to find them in amongst a huge pile of paper notes, but now we can easily, at the touch of a button, access the blood test results.”