The NHS Wales Microsoft 365 Centre of Excellence has been launched by Digital Health and Care Wales to support staff working within Welsh health boards solve operational and clinical challenges.

The centre uses Microsoft tools to help turn innovative ideas into apps. This includes products such as Teams, Word and SharePoint which are widely known within NHS Wales, as well as lesser-known tools.

Newer products like Microsoft Power Platform will also be introduced to innovators and its ability to simplify the process of building low-code apps, automate processes and make data more accessible will be showcased.

Through the centre a team of digital innovation experts is available to provide development support to doctors, nurses and NHS Wales staff who have an idea that could boost efficiency and improve patient care.

It builds on the existing Microsoft 365 programme which has been in place since the move to a single NHS Wales-wide deal in 2019.

Damian Mayer, interim head of the centre, said: “The previous M365 programme team did a phenomenal job of embedding the tools and developing the frameworks around them. The Centre of Excellence will carry that work on and continue to innovate and explore opportunities for improvement, for the benefit of colleagues and the citizens of Wales.

“We encourage all those with clinical or operational challenges that they think can be solved by digital solutions to join the Digital Champions Network, or get in touch with us.”

The Digital Champions Network is open to all NHS Wales staff who have an interest in innovating through Microsoft tools. It offers training and networking opportunities to support staff.

The occupational therapy department at Hywel Dda University Health Board has already worked with the centre to use Microsoft tools to reduce the clinical documentation audit process to just one month, where previously it was between six to nine months.

“It switched to a digital workflow, with automation and also gained a data visualisation dashboard to the team had an quick and simple way to view progress.

Suzanne Crompton, occupational therapy service lead, Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “This new process gives us more time for patient care.

“Administrative tasks previously took over one hour 30 minutes to complete per audit, but now that those processes are automated, we have that time back.

“It is much simpler and easier for everyone involved, and we’re already getting such positive feedback from the team.”