Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has signed a deal with CliniSys to modernise its laboratory information systems as part of a wider digital strategy.

Pathologists have selected CliniSys’s WinPath Enterprise solution to digitally manage testing and results in its laboratory information systems (LIMS). Its implementation will be used to create clinical pathways in which diagnostics can play a role in the safe and efficient management of patients.

The move is not merely a switch from one LIMS to another, but is part of its drive to continually improve patient care.

Hannah Cox, LIMS programme manager at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We are determined to be part of that bigger digital movement and to play our part in that bigger transformation. We want to think about how the laboratory can support the hospitals and community colleagues to keep patients moving through the system.

“We want to think about how we can support and enable patient care in the community, rather than in hospitals. We really want to use the implementation of WinPath to think about where pathology fits in the whole system and to facilitate integration within the wider patient record.”

Dr Stewart Pattman, consultant chemical pathologist and clinical lead for digital pathology transformation for the trust, added: “As a pathology department, we are delighted to have the opportunity to select CliniSys WinPath Enterprise and to design a digital system that supports pathology testing and results for our patients and clinical teams over the next decade and beyond.

“As we get into the implementation, we are determined to keep an open mind about the processes that we have at the moment, and to look for opportunities to improve them. This investment also forms part of a wider digital strategy for the trust, so we will be looking for opportunities to integrate our digital systems with others to create clinical pathways in which diagnostics support safe and effective patient management and decision making.”

Currently, the trust uses CliniSys Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE) to order tests, as do local GPs. It now intends to integrate WinPath Enterprise with this, just as three trusts within Dorset did in 2020. This integration will mean the trust’s lab clinicians can launch a patient record in ICE from within the LIMS, enabling them to review clinical information that could support the reporting of test results.

The trust has opted for a hosted solution in order to avoid the need to significantly expand its data centre to host WinPath Enterprise itself. The hosted options means it can also benefit from a full hardware refresh after five years of the 10-year contract.

Richard Craven, chief executive, CliniSys, said: “It is always satisfying to win another customer for WinPath Enterprise, but Northumbria Healthcare doesn’t just want to put in a new LIMS. It wants to transform pathology services and make sure they can make a real difference to local clinicians and patients. We really applaud that; and we can’t wait to get started on the journey with them.”

Earlier this year CliniSys launched GLIMS Genomics, an information system to support the management of genomic labs in the UK.