Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has announced it is working with workflow solutions company Carefx to pilot a proactive pathology results system.

The trust will take part in a six month pilot to monitor the use of an ordering system that will automatically present clinicians with the most recent and relevant test results whenever they start to place an order.

The trust will start using the system in the next few weeks in the hope that it will provide clinicians with greater decision support and encourage them to ask whether the request is really necessary.

Dianne Nixon, the head of strategic systems responsible for the IT design of the pilot, told E-Health Insider: “At the moment, there is blanket ordering regardless of whether a patient may need a test or not.

"Not only can this be uncomfortable for the patient, but it can be a waste of resource and time for the staff.

“This portal-based technology not only monitors what clinicians are doing but makes them aware of it every time they place an order.”

Cambridge was the first trust in the UK to implement Carefx’s Fusionfx interoperable workflow system. It will now become the first to take part in what it calls the “composite application” trial.

The system will initially go-live in the four areas that make the most requests, including renal and transplant. The trust hopes to see a 10% decrease in the number of unnecessary orders placed within six months.

Nixon added: “We are expecting cost and time savings. The time taken ordering the test will be reduced. There’s also the cost of the bottle, which can be saved.

"And if fewer tests are requested, there will be less work transferring them to labs, testing them and inputting results back into system.

“There’s potential for those who do not need blood test to be sent home more quickly, rather than waiting for results before they are discharged.”

The portal will integrate with the trust’s iSoft PAS but will use the trust’s Meditech pathology and laboratory system as its primary source of data.

“Following the initial roll-out, we hope to roll-out pathology and radiology. With the financial restrictions coming in, that may get delayed. But we do have backing from our medical director and chief executive officer,” Nixon added.

Wayne Parslow, executive vice president and general manager EMEA for Carefx, said: “By being more proactive in information delivery at point of care, Cambridge can ensure that patients are treated faster and more effectively.

“Carefx technology interoperates with existing applications and resources and does not require changes to these systems, enabling trusts to bring together a unified view of patient data for clinical staff as they need it.”