All health boards in Wales will be using the same system for sending pathology and radiology results to GP practices by the end of January next year.
The GP Links Messaging Solution is intended to replace seven local systems across the country, that are used by GPs to request test results from hospital laboratories.
A spokesperson from the NHS Wales Informatics Service, which leads on IT in the Welsh NHS, said that that having a single system will save time and money as there is “one licence to pay and one system to maintain.”
The system is a component in the GP Test Results Service, which allows staff at a practice to electronically request tests and view test results from their local hospital laboratory.
A spokesperson from NHS Wales Informatics Service said it effectively serves as a “post room”, picking up an identification code in the results coming from a laboratory and directing the results to the right GP practice.
These results are then displayed directly in the GP practice’s clinical system, which in Wales is either Emis or INPS Vision.
NHS Wales Informatics Service said that GP Links has already gone live for pathology results in all seven health boards in Wales and that in the last week of November the service directed 128,151 pathology reports.
Cwm Taf University Health Board in south Wales is the first health board to use the system for radiology results. It went live in October and has so far sent more than 9,000 reports to practices.
The remaining Welsh health boards will go live with GP Links in radiology over the next few weeks.
Wales has a unified ‘once for Wales’ approach to the use of healthcare IT in the country, including a national picture archiving and communications service from Fujifilm.
Recent developments in the country include the roll-out of the My Health Online portal for online bookings and repeat prescriptions and the pilot of a GP2GP service to digitally transfer a patient’s record from one medical practice to another.
This summer the Welsh government announced it plans to invest £6.7 million to develop and IT system to link health and social care services, beginning with Bridgend County Borough Council.