Pathology network to use WinPath Enterprise to replace legacy systems, consolidate workflow and support growth
One of the first pathology networks in the country, set up to serve more than two million people in south west London, has signed a contract with CliniSys for a new laboratory information management system (LIMS).
South West London Pathology, which was established in 2014, is now working with the company to prepare to deploy WinPath Enterprise.
The award-winning NHS pathology network was set up by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to provide a single, integrated pathology service across south west London and beyond.
It operates on a ‘hub and spoke’ model, with a main hub laboratory at St George’s Hospital and spoke sites at Croydon and Kingston to manage urgent local work.
The new LIMS will replace the mix of legacy systems used by the different services run out of these labs, including the iLab APEX LIMS at St George’s and older versions of WinPath used at Kingston and Croydon.
WinPath Enterprise is a next generation LIMS, designed to meet the requirements of the growing number of pathology networks that are being set up to improve the availability and efficiency of clinical tests for NHS providers.
Its deployment by South West London Pathology will enable all the network’s sites to use a single database, with better reporting and analytics tools. The roll-out of the new system will be phased and the aim is to make the first service live by the end of 2019 and all sites and services live within 18 months.
Simon Brewer, managing director of South West London Pathology, said: “We have a 25-year old LIMS that was never designed to support a network, and we have created so many workarounds that it is no longer sustainable.
“We need a LIMS that can do a lot more; one that will enable us to further harmonise our workflow and enable us to grow. WinPath Enterprise has already been deployed into large, networked environments, so we are confident that CliniSys can help us to further modernise and streamline our service.”
Donald Saum, business development director at CliniSys, said: “South West London Pathology has used an integration strategy to enable information to flow between systems, but there comes a point when you need to take a consolidation approach.
“That is what WinPath Enterprise will enable the network to do, while also laying the foundations for further consolidation and growth. We are delighted to be working with the network as it takes that next step.”
South West London Pathology was set up in response to a national report on pathology services conducted by Lord Carter of Coles and the Modernising Pathology in London Programme.
The Carter report argued there was a strong case for the consolidation of pathology services, so non-urgent and more specialist work could be carried in laboratories with the staff and resources to ensure high-quality results.
A number of pathology networks have now been set up or are being developed in response to a second report from Lord Carter on efficiency and the recent NHS Long Term Plan. WinPath Enterprise responds to their need for a modern LIMS that can effectively manage tests conducted at multiple sites.
At South West London Pathology, the new LIMS will have to be integrated with the electronic patient record systems used by the different partner trusts; and the seven order communications systems used to order different tests from across the network.
To support the integration, the Rhapsody integration engine that was developed by Orion Health and recently sold to Hg Capital is being layered into the CliniSys solution and will be delivered as part of the contract.