The blood transfusion service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has begun working with a new laboratory information system, Clinisys’ WinPath, as it moves towards modern, digital working.

The update of the pathology laboratory information management system (LIMS) forms part of a larger project to deploy a single LIMS across the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts. The recent implementation will help to inform future rollouts of the system to other pathology disciplines at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and eventually all the labs in the association’s network of six trusts.

Blood transfusion laboratories at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’ University Hospitals are now live with WinPath from Clinisys. They follow on from other blood transfusion laboratories in the association – Airedale and Bradford – going live in 2023.

The labs adopted Clinisys’ order communications system, known as ICE, as part of the go-live. They also upgraded the blood tracking system to add increased functionality.

The new ICE functionality will support clinicians to access blood test results much quicker compared to the previous paper reporting process. This in turn will support faster patient diagnosis and improved outcomes as a result.

Stephen Stephenson, head of profession for pathology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “A single LIMS will enable our trusts to standardise working practices and reporting procedures, invest in new equipment and be ready for the future development and introduction of AI.

“The Leeds go-live is an important step in a huge change programme that will create a platform to build on in the future.”

Janine Bontoft, West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) LIMS implementation manager, added: “The new LIMS will also enable us to introduce bedside blood tracking and integrated blood fridges to improve patient safety and make the best use of blood products, which are a precious resource.

“Leeds was our third trust to go-live with blood transfusion, and from a technical standpoint it was the smoothest so far as we took learnings from our two previous go-lives. Now it is live, we can move on to implementing Clinisys WinPath at the three remaining blood transfusion laboratories within WYAAT and start planning for blood sciences and microbiology implementation in Leeds.”

The association is also creating a state-of-the-art Centre for Laboratory Medicine in Leeds, to underpin the transformation of services in the region. It selected Clinisys WinPath as its single LIMS three years ago in support of this development.

Clinisys WinPath is also behind a major pathology transformation programme in Northern Ireland, which has already seen both Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust deploy the LIMS.