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Supporting safe maternal and newborn care on World Patient Safety Day 2021

Today, Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) is honouring World Patient Safety Day, a WHO initiative that promotes patient safety awareness, engagement, and action. 

This year’s theme is safe maternal and newborn care, with organisations around the world highlighting the importance of care and protection for mothers and their babies.

DHCW enhances safe patient care with all-Wales systems like the Welsh Clinical Portal (WCP). The WCP captures a patient’s health information accurately and efficiently in a single record, which can be accessed by healthcare professionals in multiple care settings. This means that the different care givers a patient encounters along their health pathway are informed with an up-to-date, precise and detailed account of the patient’s health information - even when they move between health boards.

For example, when a baby is transferred across health boards to a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), the information recorded about them at their previous hospital – such as blood test results - is available to their new care givers in the WCP.

This means blood tests don’t have to be repeated, which has a huge clinical benefit for SCBU babies, many of whom have been born prematurely or are extremely vulnerable. It also makes the experience less stressful for their parents, who won’t have to watch their baby have blood taken multiple times.

A patient’s WCP record also includes their clinical documents, letters and notes, so every caregiver a patient encounters – from nurses and consultants, to pharmacists and radiologists – has their healthcare history at their fingertips. 

For SCBU babies, this means that those professionals can make better informed decisions about their care, which may reduce the time they have to spend in hospital. This also means that beds are made available more quickly, so that other very ill babies and their parents can transfer to the SCBU and receive lifesaving care closer to home.  

Find out more about World Patient Safety Day 2021 on the WHO website.