Digital prescribing in hospitals (secondary care)


It is expected that all health boards in Wales will move to digital prescribing and medicines administration and will be procuring and implementing electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) as part of this change.

Regardless of the choice of ePMA system, this will require changes to many processes, tasks and potentially roles, across prescribing, administering medicines, medicines management and discharge and what happens thereafter, across many different sites and specialist care settings.

This brings new opportunities to improve safety, as well as to improve the experience for patients and clinicians. But there are also constraints, new user needs, the ‘messy reality’ of day-to-day ways of working and existing systems and processes, barriers and drawbacks to understand.

What’s the goal?

To understand the needs and views of those directly involved in prescribing, dispensing, administering, managing and receiving medicines in hospitals (secondary care) in Wales.

What problems could the project solve for people?

Through this discovery, we hope to show health boards and local implementation teams the risks and opportunities of moving to ePMA in hospitals, so they can prepare safely, select the best options and implement in a way that provides most benefit.

Who’s involved?

Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) are CDPS’s partner in the discovery. CDPS are working with subject matter experts from the Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio and conducting user research with the people who are directly involved in prescribing, dispensing or administering medicines in hospitals.

What has CDPS done so far?

What’s coming up next?

Analysis of all interviews completed to date, plus 3 onsite visits at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Health Board.

How does this work help deliver the digital strategy for Wales?

Mission 1: digital services

Deliver and modernise services so that they are designed around user needs and are simple, secure, and convenient.

Mission 5: digital economy

Drive economic prosperity and resilience by embracing and exploiting digital innovation.

Mission 6: data and collaboration

Services are improved by working together, with data and knowledge being used and shared.

Blog posts

Improving the prescription process in hospitals by prioritising user needs – published 30 November 2022

Coming together to improve the quality of prescription services in Wales – published 2 November 2022