One Dorset Pathology adopts LIMS from CliniSys

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One Dorset Pathology will replace ageing IT systems across three trusts to support the development of a pathology hub using a single laboratory information system (LIMS) from CliniSys.

One Dorset Pathology, which covers the three acute trusts within the Dorset Integrated Care System (ICS), which serves a population of around 800,000 people, will deploy WinPath Enterprise LIMS  which is designed to meet the specific needs of pathology networks.

The new LIMS will replace the 20-year-old pathology systems that are currently in use at the trusts and support the creation of a state-of-the-art pathology hub. Stephen Harding, head of service at One Dorset Pathology, said: ‘The new CliniSys LIMS is a significant enabler of the transformations we are looking to achieve.’ 

‘By having a single system, we will also be able to open-up results across the network, so that patients who have tests in one hospital will have the results available if they go to another hospital. That will be a significant benefit and will significantly improve patient care and safety across the county,’ added Harding.

The LIMS will be fully integrated with CliniSys’ order communications solution, ICE, to create an end to end workflow for ordering and conducting tests, while the creation of a single lab system will make it easier for clinicians to access the results from any hospital or GP practice.

The contract has also been structured so that it lays the foundations for a group of hospital trusts in Hampshire and Wiltshire, known as Southern Counties Pathology, to use the same integrated pathology IT service in the future. 

Dorset has three acute foundation trusts: The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, Dorset County Hospital, and Poole Hospital. They have been working on a One NHS in Dorset vision for some years - initially as an acute care collaboration vanguard and more recently as an integrated care system.

As part of their work, and following Lord Carter of Coles’ report recommending the move to hub and spoke processing models, the three trusts agreed to set up One Dorset Pathology in 2016.

Following the proposal to form 29 pathology networks in England from NHS Improvement, One Dorset Pathology was credited with being the first new pathology network to launch a procurement for a common LIMS when it went out to tender the following year. The procurement concluded last summer, with the network deciding to take WinPath Enterprise as a hosted solution.

One Dorset Pathology is now working with CliniSys to develop a roll-out plan for the system, based on the company’s extensive experience in delivering technology for pathology networks.

The LIMS is likely to be deployed as a single activation rather than a site by site go-live over the next 18 months. ‘This is a major change, so we will be working hard to engage our clinicians and train them in the system and new ways of working,’ Harding said.‘However, we are confident they will see that the processing systems the LIMS supports will be far more user-friendly and streamlined than our previous systems. We will no longer need the workarounds that we have to make use of now, just to make things happen.’

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