Coming together to improve the quality of prescription services in Wales

Why 2 organisations with different expertise have come together to create better outcomes for patients and healthcare professionals

2 November 2022

CDPS have been doing user research with GPs and non-medical staff to identify opportunities for new digital solutions and services for electronic prescribing

The Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) is working in partnership with Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW). Together, we aim to create better outcomes for patients and healthcare professionals. 

Shared mission 

Our mission is to: 

Work has already started with DHCW’s Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio (DMTP).  

Inclusive solution  

Helen Thomas, CEO at DHCW, said:  

“I see great and real benefits to this partnership. It will allow us to understand the impact of removing paper from the system and to select and deliver the technology that meets the needs of NHS Wales. 

“We know that not everyone wants to use online services. It’s therefore vitally important that a significant new development that will impact everyone who uses NHS Wales services is digitally inclusive.  

“Bringing our expertise together provides us with the forward thinking and insight needed to deliver the very best digital medicines solutions for the people of Wales.” 

Our approach is in keeping with Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services’ remarks about the future of electronic prescribing in Wales:  

“We want to make sure services deliver the best outcomes for citizens, and are designed around how citizens and service providers want to use and manage those services… 

“…we know that not everyone can, or wants to, access online services; therefore, ensuring that the solution is digitally inclusive is a key priority of the programme.” 

One area of focus is dispensing tokens – patients who hand their paper prescriptions to the pharmacist to collect their medicine

Removing paperwork 

Electronic prescription solutions exist and are used in various places outside Wales. Scandinavian countries are leading Europe in the deployment of electronic prescriptions. Finding the technology that meets the needs of our users, in a way that’s specific to Wales is important. What works in one context may not work in another.  

In this scope of work, our research will look into understanding the challenges and risks of removing paperwork in the following 2 services: 

From now until the end of the year, we’ll observe patients and healthcare professionals in real-life contexts as they use prescription services.  

Understanding the user journey 

Our aim is to understand each of their user journeys – from their first step all the way through to completing the task they set out to do.  

This isn’t just about technology systems. User journeys are made up of online, paper, telephone and in-person steps. 

When we understand the end-to-end user journey and collect user feedback and experience, we can identify opportunities for improvements to new digital solutions and services. 

Working as Agile partners 

How will we achieve this? We will work as partners. We will bring together DMTP subject matter experts and CDPS specialists (design and user research) under one roof to work in an Agile, open and transparent way.  

How will this work in practice? Find out in our next blog post, which will look at our overall approach – from Agile principles and working in the open to the importance of user research. 

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