Wales to introduce £1.9m IT system to control hospital bug outbreaks

ICNet to be rolled out across Wales in bid to alert staff to infections

A £1.9 million IT system for tracking healthcare associated infections in ‘real time’ will be rolled out across the Welsh NHS, the Welsh government has announced.

The ICNet system will be in place by mid-2017 and will provide case management and surveillance of outbreaks for health boards. It will also link to other NHS Wales databases.

Deputy health minister Vaughan Gething said: ‘This will help improve patient safety by reducing preventable infection outbreaks in our hospitals.'

In the event of an outbreak staff, will be alerted immediately so they can respond with appropriate measures at the earliest opportunity, reducing the risk of the infection spreading to other patients or staff in the hospital or in a community setting.

ICNet will be able to interact and connect with other national IT systems, including surgery databases, laboratory reporting and patient administration systems. It should also mean staff spend less time manually searching and reviewing historic records. It will allow them to track the care of patients with confirmed cases of a healthcare-associated infection, such as MRSA, if they need to be transferred to another hospital for ongoing treatment.

The network will create a national picture of the infection control rates across Wales. 

The ICNet system has been operating across North Wales since last year.

Assistant director of nursing for infection prevention at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Tracey Cooper said: ‘We introduced ICNet across North Wales last year as part of our own internal programme to reduce the number of avoidable infections. It has helped us enormously and we continue to reduce the number of cases of Clostridium difficile infection and MRSA bacteraemia through this programme of work.  

‘We are delighted the work we have done in developing the system will now be shared across the whole of Wales.'







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