CiniSys has been awarded a contract to deploy a single laboratory information system across Northern Ireland.

The pathology IT supplier will be deploying its WinPath Enterprise laboratory information management system (LIMS) to five trusts and the blood transfusion service, as well as its GLIMS Genomics to the national genetics service in Belfast.

As part of a modernisation programme CliniSys will be replacing multiple IT systems within the trusts and the legacy system used by the country’s genetics service. The programme is a move to create world class pathology services for the country and to enable future innovation.

Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Board has been working with PathNetNI on modernising pathology services for the past five years.

Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann said: “Pathology is a service that operates largely behind the scenes but which is critical to our health service and contributes to the vast majority of patient diagnoses from GPs and hospitals.”

“I believe that a world class digital healthcare service is at the heart of our future needs, and the launch of LIMS is a shining example of transformation being delivered.”

Clinisys will work alongside digital and pathology experts to develop an effective design and implementation model that can be delivered at a national scale. A single design authority will bring together representatives from each trust and the pathology disciplines, and will configure the system.

The first go-live is planned for Belfast Trust in 18 months’ time and will be supported by a ClinSys deployment team. After this, skills will be transferred to local digital teams so they can support the subsequent go-lives.

Both WinPath Enterprise and GLIMS Genomics will be fully integrated with core systems used by clinicians, including the Epic electronic patient record.

Jennifer Welsh, senior responsible owner of Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management System (NIPIMS) and chair of the Northern Ireland Pathology Network, said: “This Regional LIMS solution will generate accurate, real-time information to enable laboratories to benchmark their performance and deliver new insights into the conditions for which tests are being run. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has shown how important it is to be able to pick up and track infections in the community.”

CliniSys chief executive Richard Craven added: “This is a big and exciting project. It is a national deployment for WinPath Enterprise and the first UK deployment of GLIMS Genomics.”

He continued: “This is a ten-year contract, so we are in this for the long-term. We are now looking forward to working with Health and Social Care Northern Ireland, PathNetNI, individual laboratories and pathologists on the implementation and to helping them to shape the future of diagnostic services across Northern Ireland.”

CliniSys recently signed a deal with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation trust to modernise its pathology services with the WinPath Enterprise solution.