Three NHS Scotland Boards have gone live with the Evolution vLab Laboratory Information Management System by Magentus, seamlessly connecting laboratory medicine services across multiple sites to deliver streamlined workflows, greater clinical safety and better patient outcomes.

A new implementation at NHS Fife marks the third successful LIMS go-live by NHS Scotland and Magentus, building upon recent successful go-lives at NHS Shetland and NHS Orkney.

The Evolution vLab LIMS is now supporting staff working across disciplines including histopathology, blood transfusion, microbiology, virology, immunology, haematology and biochemistry.

Going live with Evolution vLab at NHS Shetland, NHS Orkney and NHS Fife has set a solid foundation for building the UK’s largest connected laboratory medicine network.

All three NHS Boards were accelerated as the initial projects for Magentus to deliver as the preferred supplier for NHS Scotland’s ambitious nationwide LIMS framework.

Under the framework, Evolution vLab could ultimately support more than 4,000 staff in performing over 100 million tests across Scotland per year.

A common and modern LIMS is crucial for NHS Scotland to realise the aims of its digital strategies and a key enabler of the strategic aim for delivering clinical laboratory services in the form of a Distributed Service Model.

An effective LIMS is crucial to the function of laboratory medicine, as it helps manage and report results of all primary, secondary and tertiary laboratory requests — tests that play a part in 70-80% of all health care decisions affecting diagnosis of disease, treatment, and monitoring response to treatment.

Evolution vLab provides the capability to create automation of workflows, integration of instruments, and management of samples and their associated information. It also interfaces with key local and national healthcare systems including Patient Administration Systems and Electronic Patient Records, supporting reliable continuity of information flow.

One of 14 territorial NHS Boards in Scotland, NHS Fife operates Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, supported by a network of community and day hospitals as well as GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists.

The Board — closely linked with laboratories across NHS Scotland through the Diagnostic Networks — employs around 8,500 staff and provides healthcare to a population of more than 370,000. NHS Fife’s key laboratories are based within the Victoria Hospital, a central hub for providing laboratory medicine services for Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline and GPs throughout Fife.

The site also provides the laboratory medicine service for the Regional Endoscopy Unit that includes patient referrals from NHS Lothian and NHS Forth Valley.

Robyn Gunn, NHS Fife head of laboratory services, said: “This has been a true partnership with Magentus, working collaboratively to improve and advance our laboratory systems and ensuring they are fit for the future.

“Not only will this implementation be of great benefit locally, but it also represents a big step for laboratory medicine in Scotland, paving the way for greater efficiency, collaboration and connection across NHS Scotland boards.”

Mike Gray, NHS Lothian laboratory service manager and co-chair of the LIMS Implementation Programme, added: “These first sites going live provide an important foundation for the national framework we’re partnering with Magentus to deliver.

“These will be the building blocks for significantly improved service delivery and the early steps in reaping the full benefits of operating a single LIMS across Scotland.

“We couldn’t be happier with the partnership — Magentus flooded NHS Fife with 24-hour support to get this project off the ground and it has been an amazing ‘one team’ effort that wouldn’t have happened without that joint commitment by forward-thinking teams on both sides working as one.”