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15 November 2021

Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service plans CliniSys LIMS and ICE deployments

WinPath Enterprise will support an innovative, distributed model of working

Integration with a single instance of the Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE) will create a seamless, end to end service for clinicians and patients

Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service is planning the deployment of a single laboratory information management system to consolidate the collaborative relationship that has been developed between its laboratories.

The service, which is one of 29 pathology networks being set up through a national programme to drive efficiency and quality, signed a deal with Clinisys for its WinPath Enterprise LIMS this spring.

Since then, it has been planning for a ‘big-bang’ go-live across its main laboratories in Hull and York and a smaller laboratory in Scarborough.

Programme director Dave Oglesby said: “Hull and York are 40 miles apart, and we have been building a collaborative relationship for the past five years. That gained impetus with the decision to create a pathology network and to move forward with a single LIMS.”

“The operating model of Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service is built around harmonising working practices, and we will be using the new LIMS to standardise ways of working.

“We want to go-live in all sites and all specialities at the same time, so clinicians and patients see the benefits as soon as possible.”

Many of the pathology networks being set up in England operate on a ‘hub and spoke’ model, with a main lab at one hospital linked to hot labs at other sites.

This model would not be feasible for Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service, because of the distance that samples would have to travel over roads that can become clogged in bad weather and with holiday traffic.  

Instead, the service will operate a ‘distributed’ model, in which specialist tests are conducted in Hull and York, while all four labs carry out high-volume, routine work and support each other if they come under pressure.

WinPath Enterprise will support this model by allowing test results to be shared across the network and generating data to analyse workflows.

A linked project means GPs in the area will use a single instance of the Clinisys Integrated Clinical Environment or ICE to order tests. The service hopes to go-live next year.

Dave Oglesby said: “What we are focusing on is the creation of a single pathology network serving four laboratory sites; and not a federation of laboratories. That is the model that we believe works best for our locality and Integrated Care System partners.

“Our vision is for every patient in our catchment area to have the same route to access tests and a single pathology record, using ICE and the LIMS.

“That will mean that a clinician in Hull or York will be able to see the results of a patient referred from hospital in Scarborough or a GP in Bridlington without those tests having to be conducted again.

“We will also be able to use mobile ICE in the community and harness modern communications, like messaging and chat, instead of having to rely on paper. Many pathology networks talk about creating integrated systems; we are determined to nail it.”

Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service will serve Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Hull Royal Infirmary and supporting services, and York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs York Hospital, Scarborough Hospital, and Bridlington Hospital as well as community facilities.

Hull is a long-standing user of Clinisys’ Labcentre LIMS, but its pathologists will benefit from new features in WinPath Enterprise. York’s labs will be moving from a legacy system to the new Clinisys LIMS, which will be hosted by the company in a secure, UK datacentre.

The LIMS will be integrated with the electronic patient record used at Hull University Teaching Hospitals as well as the unique EPR developed in-house by York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals.

Richard Craven, UK chief executive of Clinisys, said: “We are delighted that Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service has chosen to use WinPath Enterprise and ICE to support its network by creating a truly integrated system for ordering and conducting tests and reporting results.

“We’d like to pay tribute to everybody involved in the programme for contributing their time and expertise to support these developments during the past few months. It has been a demonstration of pathology’s commitment to the future, at a time when it has been playing such a huge part in the ongoing fight against Covid-19.”