Barts Health NHS Trust is moving to unify its laboratory information management systems.

The trust, which was formed out of a merger of three organisations using different instances of the WinPath LIMS, has appointed its supplier, CliniSys, to implement WinPath Enterprise.  

This will give it a single system, encourage the adoption of standardised processes, and give laboratory technicians access to patient information wherever they are working.

In a statement from the company, Professor Finbarr Cotter, clinical director for pathology, said: “A single LIMS will expedite open access to data for all physicians and is supportive of ‘shared care’.

“Having one system covering the whole of the East End of London has got to lead to an enhanced patient experience and to improve service quality.”

The new system will enable pathology services across the four major hospitals run by the trust to work together in a more collaborative fashion.

Professor Cotter added that this should enable Barts Health to deliver a “superior NHS pathology service” without consolidation or outsourcing.

These are two routes that have been taken by other pathology services over the past decade, following a review by Lord Carter that said better quality and efficiency could be delivered by consolidated services working out of hours.

The LIMS project is one of a number of unification projects underway at Barts Health, which was formed from a merger of Barts and the London NHS Trust, Whipps Cross University Hospitals NHS Trust, and Newham University Hospital NHS Trust in 2012.

It has a long-standing IT strategy to standardise on one instance of the Cerner Millennium electronic patient record, different versions of which were in use at Bart’s and Newham University hospitals, and which had not been deployed at Whipps Cross University Hospital when the merger took place.

It is also unifying its voice recognition system, in a project to standardise on G2 Speech and integrate this with Millennium.

The trust now runs a hub pathology suite, situated in a custom-built pathology and pharmacy building at the Royal London Hospital, while the other hospitals house ‘rapid response’ ‘spoke’ laboratories.

Simon Hurst, the commercial director for CliniSys, said the company was delighted to be continuing its partnership with the trust.

“We look forward to a successful project and to supporting Barts Health to enhance and grow their service and deliver real benefits to patients.”