All six of NHS Wales pathology labs have undergone software upgrades and new IT hardware installations from InterSystems.

The upgrades aim to deliver system improvements, increased resilience, and easier data management.

Working with InterSystems, the NHS Wales Informatics Service was able to successfully complete the major upgrade to the national lab system over one weekend in December.

The work to upgrade the system in a short space of time ensured minimal disruption to workflows across the labs.

The Welsh Laboratory Information management System (LIMS) was introduced in 2013 and forms a fundamental part of the healthcare IT used to support patient care.

The upgrades future-proof the system until 2025, according to a statement from the Wales Informatics Service (WIS).

Thousands of diagnostic tests are processed through the LIMS every day, with pathology services playing a crucial role in every aspect of patient care. During the Covid-19 pandemic quick and resilient pathology services have been vital.

About 70% of all clinical diagnoses in primary and secondary care rely on the insight and advice from pathologists, WIS said.

Every year the system processes about 30 million test results, all of which can be accessed in seconds. In December alone, the Welsh LIMS handled more than half a million Covid-19 tests and more than 2.3 million non-Covid tests.

Results from system are shared electronically with secondary care doctors through the Welsh Clinical Portal, with GPs through primary care systems, and with numerous specialist care clinical systems.

All radiology reports from across NHS Wales were made available through the Welsh Clinical Portal in December 2019.

The portal delivers the digital medical record for Wales through one application for information about patients and their care. It shares, delivers and displays patient information from a number of sources with a single log-on, even if that information is spread across health boards.

NHS Wales has also recently committed to the adoption of GS1 standards in a bid to underpin traceability across healthcare.

The strategic Scan for Safety Wales Project Board, established to manage the rollout, will initially focus on developing a national inventory-management system to improve how healthcare products throughout the supply chain are traced.