NHS Wales to launch national digital systems usability survey

NHS Wales is launching a national digital systems usability survey to offer frontline clinicians an opportunity to speak up about the usability and design of digital systems across Wales.

The survey aims to look into areas for long-term investments and improvements to ensure that the experience of using a digital system is satisfactory wherever people work within Wales. It seeks to understand if the digital systems in use help or hinder in day-to-day tasks; where the particular pain points and frustrations are; if the system is configured to meet individual needs; and if people have access to practical training and support to use the technology.

At a national level, the answers and results from the survey will help NHS Wales engage with digital providers about wider issues and where they can improve.

Christian Smith, chief nursing information officer for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, highlights three areas which are important to focus on: the need for reliable evidence to show weaknesses or problems; the need to shift mindsets and consider the perspective of the clinicians using the technology; and the need to benchmark and measure the performance of systems from a user perspective, to understand what it working and what is not.

Christian added: “For all of those reasons, I’m really excited that NHS Wales is about to launch its first ever national Digital Systems Usability Survey later this month. As a practising nurse, I particularly want to urge all my colleagues across Wales to get behind it – it is important we take this chance to have our say on how clinical IT is working, and to use our voice to shape its future.

“In theory, everyone knows how important our digital systems should be as a way of enabling safe, effective, joined-up care. In practice, many of us also know they can sometimes be slow and cumbersome, draining the spirit one key-stroke at a time.”

The national Digital Systems Usability Survey will launch across Wales on 27 March 2o23 and is open for all clinicians who use a digital system in their daily work.