GHP Q2 2023

9 GHP Q2 2023 Clinisys is a global provider of intelligent diagnostic informatics solutions and expertise designed to redefine the modern laboratory, across healthcare, life sciences, and public health. Millions of diagnostic results and data insights are generated every day using Clinisys’ solutions in over 3,000 laboratories across 34 countries. Clinisys recently received recognition in the Global Excellence Awards 2023, where it was labelled the Best Healthcare Informatics Digital Platform – UK. Here we learn more about how the deployment of its solution,WinPath has enabled Black Country Pathology Services to realise its vision of a “world-class” laboratory network. Transforming Laboratories Globally lack Country Pathology Services (BCPS) is part of a major, national initiative to reorganise pathology services in England. Following a landmark report by Lord Carter of Coles, NHS Improvement instituted a programme to create 29 pathology networks to consolidate labs and standardise working practices. The aims of the programme are to make best use of scarce staff and resources, to improve efficiency and quality, and to make sure pathology can respond to the changing needs of the NHS while offering the latest tests and services. BCPS was set up in 2018 to further these aims for its four partner trusts: The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. It also serves 1,000 GPs. It operates a central hub at New Cross Hospital, part of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and four essential services labs at acute hospitals in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, and Walsall. The network is deploying Clinisys WinPath at all five labs and all pathology disciplines. In total, BCPS conducts 22 million tests per year for a core population of 1.5 million people – and it does so in a way that was described as “world-class” by Lord Carter, when he visited the hub in 2021. BCPS has taken the lessons of Lord Carter’s report to heart as it has developed its network and operating model. To create the most efficient, highest quality service possible, it has designed and executed an extension to its state-of-the-art pathology building at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, to enable it to handle a much larger volume of samples. It has also invested in a single laboratory information system and plans to buy completely new equipment for the hub and its four essential services laboratories. Operational manager Graham Danks says, “The Carter Report has been our model, and we have done the whole thing: the staff, the building, the IT, the equipment. “The IT and the equipment are essential, because we want to build a virtual laboratory, so staff can go from Lab A to Lab B and see no difference in terms of the systems and equipment they use and the processes they follow to do things.” In autumn 2018, BCPS decided to go with Clinisys as the provider of its single LIMS. It opted to take WinPath as a hosted solution and deployed a wide area network to create the fast links needed for constant uptime and rapid access. At the same time, it started to prepare for deployment, by drawing up a single Black Country catalogue for tests and services, coded using the national standard, SNOMED CT, and agreeing harmonised working processes with the different pathology disciplines. “We put people in a room and gave them tea and biscuits and told them they couldn’t come out until they agreed,” Graham jokes. “However, it is an essential step. You standardise your working processes and then you execute them through the LIMS.” BCPS was planning a big-bang go-live for Clinisys WinPath when winning a HPV testing contract and the arrival of Covid-19 forced a rethink. Nick Fudger, senior ICT programme manager, says that to take up the HPV contract, the network had to build new testing facilities, and link-in more than 1,000 sites doing point of care testing. All of which made the implementation of the LIMS in cellular pathology a priority. Nick says, “In the end, we went live with CellPath a year and a day after contract sign. That was at the hub, closely followed by the essential services lab.” Just a few weeks later, the outbreak of the pandemic focused attention on microbiology. Nick says it became imperative to consolidate microbiology services at Wolverhampton and Walsall, because they had high-throughput Covid-19 test analysers, so they became the next priority for go-live. The implementation programme adopted a remote working model. In the face of considerable adversity, this delivered a second go-live in June. “We made the new model work,” says Nick. “We went live with microbiology and shortly after that we went live with the whole of blood sciences. It was a notable achievement, and one that we have been able to build on, subsequently.” By September 2021, BCPS was nearing the end of its WinPath rollout at its central hub in Wolverhampton and its ‘hot’ lab in Walsall. Graham Danks says, “The big benefit has been that we have been able to use this technology to deliver that hub and spoke model of working. It has enabled us to achieve our vision of moving work from site to site, and that is working very well. “We are also making the savings in terms of equipment and staffing that we anticipated in the original plan. We were expecting to save 10-15% per year, and the IT system enables us to do that, by standardising equipment and workflow.” If Graham has one criticism, it is that Clinisys could help customers to get the most out of the powerful rules-engine in WinPath. However, he is pleased with the other benefits that BCPS has derived from using a modern, interoperable LIMS. For example, the network has started to use some of the alerting functionality in WinPath to flag results that might need rapid or further review. It has also been able to interface WinPath to the three electronic patient records in use at its acute trusts, and to the wide variety of record systems used by community and specialist services, such as maternity and sexual health. This makes it much easier for clinicians to view test results alongside a patient’s medical history when planning or delivering care. Lord Carter of Coles praised BCPS during a visit to promote national pathology week in 2021. He was shown innovations such as barcoded tubes for laboratory samples, which allow information to be scanned into WinPath, the full automation of the lab service, and the LIMS integration with local electronic patient record systems. “Deploying technology is the only way forward, and this is wonderful to see,” he says. “Trusts in other parts of the country have done it, but very few have done it as well as this.” Company: Clinisys Email: [email protected] Website: B Apr23683