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One Dorset pathologists ‘go above and beyond’ for CliniSys deployment

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The One Dorset pathology network is up and running with its new CliniSys laboratory information system following a big-bang go-live at all three of its laboratories.

The WinPath Enterprise implementation included the first deployment of the CliniSys Specimen Processing module, a cloud-based system that can be used to track tissue samples and slides through the testing process.

The One Dorset deployment approach will now be used as the model for a wider roll-out to Southern Counties Pathology, which serves six neighbouring trusts in the south of England.

Stephen Harding, head of service at One Dorset Pathology, paid tribute to staff who worked with CliniSys to configure the LIMS for the network while coping with the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the challenge of remote working, the project team was able to establish a strong collaborative approach using video collaboration software and ran more than 3,000 test scripts ahead of the go-live at 9.30am on Tuesday, 17 August.

“We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everybody who was involved in this project, because they really went above and beyond,” Harding said.

“It was a big job that had to be done in addition to the day job while dealing with Covid-19; but it meant the go-live went really well. Now, we are in a better position to support each other as a network and to keep delivering the great service that we want for clinicians and patients.”

One Dorset Pathology announced in February 2020 that it would deploy WinPath Enterprise and integrate it with the CliniSys Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE) to make it easier for hospital clinicians and GPs to order tests and access the results, wherever they are conducted.

The go-live delivered this for the network’s laboratories in Poole, Bournemouth and Dorchester. The development should mean fewer tests for patients and more information for clinicians who need to make diagnoses and treatment decisions.

“Previously, a patient might have a test at one site and then go to another, which would have no record of the result,” Harding explained. “Now, clinicians in pathology can see results of tests wherever they are conducted. That means they might not need to run the test again or they will be able to look at a series of results and find trends.”

The WinPath Enterprise go-live will also lay the groundwork for developments to the pathology network, which is the first in the country to implement the CliniSys Specimen Processing module.

The module is the first CliniSys IT system to be hosted on Microsoft Azure, and it has been designed to support all pathology disciplines, but initially cellular pathology, by making it easier to track sample pots, blocks, and slides.

Specimen Processing will also be integrated with a new scanner in Bournemouth that will turn the glass slides that are viewed through a microscope into digital images that can be studied on a computer screen.

Digital pathology will help the network to make the best use of scarce specialists, by making it easier for them to access and report on the digital slides, wherever they are based.

Meanwhile, the deployment of WinPath Enterprise in Dorset is going to be used as the basis for a roll-out to the five other trusts in Southern Counties Pathology that signed a contract for the LIMS last March.

One Dorset Pathology is already setting up masterclasses and webinars on the system with colleagues in the trusts serving Basingstoke and Winchester, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Southampton, and the Isle of Wight.

“One Dorset pathologists will act as domain experts and support the implementation teams at these trusts to deliver a go-live,” Harding said. “There will be some changes to the system to accommodate the greater range of tests that some of these hospitals run, but we are hoping that 90-95% of what is needed will already be there.

“The great benefit of such a wide roll-out is that it will give us even greater opportunities to support each other. It’s very exciting to see so many projects coming to fruition at the same time. When we put them all together, the impact should be transformational.”

Richard Craven, chief executive of CliniSys, said: “Covid-19 has put new pressures on pathology and on clinical services, but it has also shown how modern healthcare technology can support them and help to make them fit for the future.

“One Dorset Pathology’s go-live with WinPath Enterprise lays the foundation for a more collaborative and supportive way of working that will help to transform services for clinicians and patients.

“I’d like to add my thanks to everybody who worked so hard during the pandemic to make the go-live possible. I also look forward to seeing that hard work support Southern Counties Pathology as it prepares for its own implementation.”

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