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Northern Ireland begins lab info system roll out

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Two health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland have gone live with a new laboratory information system as part of the region’s pathology transformation programme.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust have deployed the Clinisys WinPath platform as part of the Core Laboratory Information Management System (Core LIMS) project.

The project, led led by the Business Services Organisation (BSO), will involve every pathology service in Northern Ireland adopting the LIMS to support the modernisation of services.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) went live first with microbiology, blood sciences and biochemistry (including newborn screening, haematology and immunology) at the start of November, and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust followed in the same disciplines three days later.

The implementations had to be carefully aligned with other IT system ‘go lives’ within the encompass programme, which has been set up to create a single, digital care record for every patient in the region.

Historically, the Belfast trust was using an older Clinisys LIMS and South Eastern was using a ‘green screen’ IT system developed by the BSO around 40 years ago.

Both organisations have upgraded to the latest version of the Windows based Clinisys WinPath system.

Plan for single platform

The Core LIMS project will combine the seven regional information applications used within pathology onto a single platform. This is expected to provide benefits of improved clinical care, risk and inequality reduction, with the capability to support wider organisational change taking place within HSCNI.

Karen Bailey, chief executive of the BSO, said: “Digital health solutions such as the Core LIMS implementation will benefit patients across Northern Ireland for decades to come, and it is a proud moment for the health and social care service here.” 

Karin Jackson, senior responsible officer for the Core LIMS project, commented: “Implementing the Core LIMS WinPath solution is a significant achievement for our health services here. It will complement our regional pathology services and enhance care provision for all patients across Northern Ireland.”

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