Four Welsh health boards have jointly gone out to procure an A&E system.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, Cwm Taf Health Board and Aneurin Bevan Health Board are working with the procurement team at NHS Wales Informatics Service to buy a new A&E system as part of a national framework agreement.

The procurement has four suppliers in the running so far, with three expected to be shortlisted over the next few weeks.

A spokesperson from NWIS told EHI that an A&E system would enable easy working and would interface with new systems and technology.

“Doing national procurements are of benefit to NHS Wales because we can achieve value for money and ensure we have products that fit with the national strategy,” said the spokesperson.

The framework hopes to award a contract by April 2014 and other health boards in Wales will be given the opportunity to buy in to the system in the future, as part of the framework.

The informatics service wants the system to provide significant improvements in clinical functionality and connectivity to meet existing and future service needs.

It is also looking for a locally coordinated system; wireless technology; and on-going support from the supplier. It will be configured as an integrated, single networked solution on a health board basis.

NWIS has run several national procurements for the country’s health boards and has also developed the Myrddin patient administration system, which is being rolled out nationally.

“The emergency department system purchased will be able to link up with patient administration systems including Myrddin,” said the NWIS spokesperson.

Hywel Dda Health Board recently worked with NWIS to integrate its three different PAS systems to create a single Myrrdin system.

NWIS hospital applications manager Stuart Davies said that the collaborative working between the health board and the informatics service had made the project a success.

"To merge and upgrade multiple PAS systems of this size and complexity with the minimum business disruption in just over three months is a significant achievement,” he said.

NWIS has developed the Welsh Clinical Portal, which is in use in secondary care and provides clinicians with a ‘single view’ of information from the different systems in use in Welsh hospitals.

It also runs the Welsh Clinical Information Gatewat which sends e-referrals from GPs to hospitals, and has started work on a pilot on sending e-referrals from hospitals to the community.