Leading pathology providers heard how Clinisys’ WinPath Enterprise LIMS and ICE order communications system are delivering security, scalability, collaboration, and standardised ways of working right now
Pathology services in Ireland face well documented IT challenges. So, a conference organised by Clinisys attracted some of the country’s leading providers, keen to hear how its laboratory information and order communications systems can help to address them.
Michael Clancy, regional business development director, acknowledged that “there is a long-term plan.” But he argued, last May’s ransomware attack on Irish hospital systems and the growing impetus behind the Sláintecare transformation programme mean change is needed now.
“A lot of labs here are on older, more vulnerable systems, so we feel it is critical to upgrade our customers to the latest and most secure LIMS on the market, which is WinPath Enterprise,” he told his audience, which included delegates from many of the voluntary and HSE hospitals in Dublin, and across Ireland.
“Also… over the next two to three years there will be a reorganisation of the hospital groups. One of the aims is greater collaboration and harmonisation; and WinPath Enterprise really fits into that approach. It can be deployed as a single instance across a hospital group, to get that level of collaboration, with ICE order communications shared by all the hospitals in that group.”
The event heard from two UK organisations that are already using Clinisys software. Douglas Bryson, laboratory systems manager at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said it has had a relationship with Clinisys since 2007, and has upgraded its LIMS twice.
On each occasion, he said the health board’s labs had been able to retain a user interface that was familiar to staff, while benefiting from new functionality, additional connectivity with external systems, and advances in computer technology.
While David Gibbs, pathology network director at the Peninsula Pathology NHS Network described, how a Clinisys-hosted deployment of WinPath Enterprise has enabled five organisations across Bristol to work together to reduce costs, increase standardisation, and drive electronic ordering and reporting.
However, Clinisys is not just delivering in Scotland and England. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Virus Reference Laboratory worked with the Health Service Executive and the organisation to deploy WinPath at its Backweston Laboratory Campus and then upgrade to WinPath Enterprise.
Brian O’Grady, systems manager, said the move was essential to enable the service to cope with the huge volume of tests and to maintain turnaround times. “It went very smoothly I have to say,” he said; “turnaround times dropped back to three hours.”
NRVL has moved its sexual health testing services onto WinPath Enterprise and is in discussions about moving its remaining virology testing repertoire onto the LIMS. Meanwhile, Tallaght University Hospital is using ICE alongside its Kainos Synergy electronic patient record to advance its vision of a single source of patient information that can be accessed from anywhere, on any device.
Dr Jason Carty, the hospital’s chief clinical information officer, said the implementation had provided an opportunity to retool the workflow of testing and accessing results. The hospital has turned off many paper reports by using ICE Desktop, its successor ICE Mobile, and the notification system ICE Mail instead. Dr Carty’s colleague, EPR programme manager Ciara Blair, said that since go-live, 848,320 test requests have been processed via ICE, “which has really made me realise how much work laboratory scientists do.” To laughter, she insisted: “you really are the unsung heroes of any hospital, because of the value of what you do.” Value that is only enhanced by the introduction of industry-leading LIMS and OCS software.