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Healthcare Communication Specialists Marks Eight-Figure Investment in Wales

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Healthcare communication specialist, Ascom UK, has officially launched its new office in Cardiff following an eight-figure investment.

The investment, which includes the lease of a 750 sq ft office at St Mellons Business Park, follows a £11m contract with Digital Health and Care Wales to develop and manage a national Wales Intensive Care Information System (WICIS).

The WICIS programme, which began in 2020, is enabling intensive care staff across Wales’ 14 standard adult critical care units to electronically manage many aspects of care. In turn, reducing the administrative burden on NHS staff and freeing up time, which can be spent delivering patient care.

Previously, just three of Wales’ units used electronic systems from other suppliers, while the remainder used paper records.

As part of the programme, 24 team members were employed to support the project.

Managing director for Ascom UK, Paul Lawrence, said:

“The official launch of our new office in Cardiff was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, but I’m really delighted to finally be able to mark our arrival in Wales.

“The investment demonstrates our commitment to the vital work we’ve been tasked with by Digital Health and Care Wales for the WICIS project. The programme is helping move intensive care units away from paper to a system that will make life easier for clinicians, freeing up thinking time in a highly pressurised environment and providing a single source of truth for patient information. It is not only helping to improve patient care at the bedside, but also it is benefiting audit and research, refining best practice and critical care structures in the future.”

Across critical care in Wales automation through WICIS is enabling near-real-time information to be available across a range of devices, forming part of the patient’s digital patient record and streamlining care processes. Integration with NHS Wales’ systems will allow intensive care staff to:

  • Support national audit and research needs
  • Increase patient safety by reducing / removing data recording errors
  • Record patient assessments electronically
  • Manage prescriptions and drug administration at the bedside
  • Connect with bedside equipment to record vital signs and fluid balance
  • Calculate a patient’s acuity scores
  • Better manage infection control
  • Manage daily care plans
  • Create reports on results and department objectives
  • Support national audit and research needs

The WICIS contract was awarded to Ascom for a seven-year period, with the option to extend it for a further three years. It includes the end-to-end implementation of Ascom’s comprehensive suite of clinical workflow software – Digistat – through a managed service contract. It is the biggest-ever single contract worldwide for the global company, which operates in 18 countries.

The Grange University Hospital is the first hospital to be scheduled to go live with Ascom technology in early 2023. The roll-out across Wales is due to be complete in 2024.