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Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service migrates to new lab info system

Blood transfusion in progress
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The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) has been migrated away from its 15-year-old laboratory information system and onto Clinisys WinPath.

The move marks a milestone in the region’s CoreLIMS programme, delivered by Business Services Organisation (BSO), to support the transformation of the country’s pathology services in by combining seven laboratory information systems onto a single platform.

Clinisys said the NIBTS go-live is the first time the WinPath system has been deployed across a national service.

The aim of the CoreLIMS programme is to address some of the pressures facing pathology by introducing more standardised ways of working and creating better working conditions and career pathways for pathology staff. It involves Clinisys WinPath being deployed at the laboratories serving the five health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland’s Genomics Medicines Centre, as well as NIBTS.

Its first go-lives were delivered last November, when Belfast and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trusts went live in microbiology, blood sciences and new-born screening within three days of each other. Since then, Clinisys WinPath has supported the production of more than 4.4 million reports for hospital clinicians and 1.5 million reports for GPs.

NIBTS was previously using a legacy system developed in-house.

Future proofing

Robin Bell, programme manager at Clinisys, said the move to a new LIMS means NIBTS will be using a future proof system that can meet new regulatory requirements. It also means that both NIBTS and hospitals will be using the same system to send and accept blood and blood components, reducing the need to transfer information from one IT system to another.

“It is the first national system that we have deployed with WinPath and it keeps up momentum on the CoreLIMS project,” he said. 2It will deliver significant benefits to the blood transfusion service, which plays such a vital role in healthcare across Northern Ireland.”

The CoreLIMS programme is scheduled to continue to roll out until 2025. It will also integrate with other, significant technology projects in Northern Ireland, to create a single, integrated electronic care record that patients will be able to access through a portal.

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