falesIntegrating Health and Social Care
A new computer system is being introduced in Wales to help health and social care professionals work together to provide care closer to people’s homes.
This system is called the Welsh Community Care Information System (WCCIS) and it gives community nurses, mental health teams, social workers and therapists the digital tools they need to work better together.
It allows access to relevant information on the care provided to other professionals, to show where a patient is with their treatment.
When fully implemented across Wales it will overcome the obstacles posed when organisations use different IT systems by securely storing important information covering a range of activities such as community nursing, health and social care visits, mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse, complex care needs or social care therapy.
Whenever a patient or client receives treatment or care in Wales information is either written down or held on a computer. These records are used to support individual care.
But when care is delivered in the home or community, it is often provided by different people from different organisations and the patient’s records are a vital tool for communication between them.
Until now, workers were using separate electronic and paper systems to record information about the people in their care, making it difficult for the information to be shared to support care.
The Welsh Community Care Information System overcomes this by integrating information in a single national system that makes it possible - on a need to know basis - for information to be shared securely between health and social care services.
It will be used by community health, mental health and social services, social workers and therapists to record the care they provide. Cases can be shared or transferred across regional and organisational boundaries if the individual is referred to new services or you move home.
How does it work?
Frontline staff can access and record information ‘on the go’ using mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. They can access the best available and most up to date information, so they know who was the last person to see the patient, what happened and what treatment or service plans are in place.
They don’t have to print out as much paperwork or go back to the office or a home location to access key information.
How does the Welsh Community Care Information System help patients and clients?
The Welsh Community Care Information System supports care in the community, helping to reduce unnecessary hospital stays. Carers will have easy access to all the important information they need and the individual won’t have to repeat their details time and again to different carers, leading to better consistency of care.
- Fewer missed appointments and wasted visits
- Decrease in duplication of record keeping
- Effective control of access to sensitive data
- Better management of resources
- Improved support for multi-disciplinary team working
- Reduction in unnecessary hospital admissions
- Quicker discharge process
- Support for integrated and shared assessments between Health and Social Care staff
- Allow easier ways to undertake audits and produce reports
- It will enable professionals across health and social care to work together within their local area, the region and across the whole of Wales
- Make better informed decisions as all relevant information is in one place
- WCCIS will support service change already underway to reshape social services and health care in Wales
How is information kept secure?
- Personal information will only be used and shared in accordance with Data Protection legislation, which provides organisations with a set of rules to follow.
- WCCIS users will receive training on how to use the system securely.
- WCCIS users must adhere to local and national policies relating to data protection, confidentiality, and information security.
- The system is fully audited and monitored.
- The information is retained in line with national retention guidance for public bodies, and confidentially destroyed as soon as the minimum retention periods have been reached.