A single laboratory information system for Northern Ireland
CliniSys has won a major contract to deploy a single laboratory information system across Northern Ireland as part of a modernisation programme to create a world-class pathology service for the country.
CliniSys will replace the seven IT systems used by Northern Ireland’s hospital trusts’ pathology disciplines and the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion service with the latest version of WinPath Enterprise.
In addition, CliniSys will also replace the legacy system used by the country’s genetics service with GLIMS Genomics, which has been designed to meet the needs of genomics laboratories and successfully deployed across mainland Europe.
Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann (pictured centre) said: “Pathology is a service that operates largely behind the scenes but which is critical to our health service and contributes to the vast majority of patient diagnoses from GPs and hospitals. In laboratories across the region, more than 40 million tests a year are being carried out by our scientists and laboratory staff to support the healthcare needs of our population.
“The past 18 months have been particularly challenging, with the pandemic placing unprecedented demands on our testing service and reinforcing the need for investment and transformation of our Health and Social Care system, to meet the needs of our citizens in coming years. I believe that a world-class digital healthcare service is at the heart of our future needs, and the launch of LIMS is a shining example of transformation being delivered.”
Karin Jackson (pictured far right), who leads the Core LIMS project in the Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems (NIPIMS) programme, said: “Today is excellent news for our health service, and pathology services in particular. It sees us beginning to implement a regional solution that will take us from seven separate systems to a single, Northern Ireland healthcare-specific, digital solution. This will enable us to better manage increasing demand, standardise reporting across the health service and ensure a better service for patients.”
Jennifer Welsh, senior responsible owner of NIPIMS and chair of the Northern Ireland Pathology Network, said: “The decision to award a single LIMS contract is a big moment in the development of pathology services in Northern Ireland.
“This Regional LIMS solution will generate accurate, real-time information to enable laboratories to benchmark their performance and deliver new insights into the conditions for which tests are being run. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important it is to be able to pick up and track infections in the community.”