GPs in Wales will be able refer patients, share records and exchange test results with consultants under a new IT agreement announced this month.
The IT agreement establishes a ‘managed IT service' for all GPs in the country, under a contract signed with providers EMIS and INPS.
The new system includes access to EMIS Web - a rival system to the NHS Summary Care Record.
EMIS Web allows healthcare professionals in settings such as diabetes or minor surgery clinics to access details including such as up to date patient allergies, history and medication from GP records.
The system is currently being used by 747 GP practices nationally with a further 1,385 orders placed, according to EMIS.
Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths said: ‘This new framework will enable e-referrals, where information is sent quickly, securely, and is clear and consistent. And it works the other way, too.
‘Results can be emailed between consultant and general practitioner. It's more cost effective, and most importantly, safer for patients.'
‘The choice of vendors on this framework means GPs will be able to find tailor their suppliers to meet their needs following a fair and open selection process.'
Sean Riddell, chief executive of EMIS Group plc, said: ‘We are delighted that GPs in Wales will now have access to the many benefits of EMIS Web – a future-proof, scalable solution that is perfectly aligned with NHS Wales' ambitious plans for better health services.'
EMIS teams will be meeting GPs and practice staff at a series of awareness events across Wales, to introduce them to the system.