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Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems

The Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management System (NIPIMS) Programme consists of both the Core LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) Project and the BPaT (Blood Production & Tracking) Project.

HSC Pathology services perform around 40 million diagnostic tests each year, the results of which inform over 80% of all Healthcare diagnostic and therapeutic decisions for patients and underpin the effective functioning of around 95% of clinical pathways.

There is an overwhelming case to proceed with replacement of existing regional LIMS with a consolidated laboratory information system through DHSSPS Recommendations for the Future of Pathology Services in Northern Ireland (2007) and ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together’ (2016). It will also act as an enabler for the ongoing pathology modernisation programme.

The Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management System (NIPIMS) forms a foundational work stream aligned to a regional programme of HSC Pathology Modernisation, as part of the wider future HSC transformation.

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)

The Core Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) will combine the seven regional information applications used within HSC Pathology onto a single, regional platform. When this programme is completed, HSCNI will have in place a significantly modernised, improved, and rationalised Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). This will bring benefits of improved clinical care, risk and inequality reduction, with the capability to support wider organisational change taking place within HSCNI.

The Programme will be delivered through collaborative partnerships both across the HSC network and with the supplier, CliniSys. This WinPath Enterprise Solution will underpin the delivery of pathology diagnostic and monitoring services, supporting all relevant regulatory requirements.

In November 2023, the first go-lives of the CoreLIMS Project took place in both Belfast and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trusts and the team are continuing to work towards future go-lives of the CoreLIMS WinPath Enterprise Solution in 2024.

   

Blood Production and Tracking (BPaT)

Northern Ireland requires a modern, regional, and integrated Blood Production and Tracking Solution.

There are various Blood Product Usage (Tracking) Systems within HSC Trusts, differing in levels of automation and complexity. At present, no comprehensive automated information flow occurs between Blood Production (NIBTS) and Blood Tracking systems (Trusts). There is also no modern donor management system in place meaning donation appointments are currently booked via telephone.

     

HSCNI will aim to have in place a modern, fit-for-purpose regional, rationalised and integrated Blood Production and Tracking solution. This will bring benefits of improved blood stock management, risk reduction, efficiency, and quality assurance, and will support the wider delivery of the NIPIMS Programme and transformation of Pathology services in NI.

BPaT aims to implement an electronic vein to vein Blood Production and Tracking solution that will be capable of tracking blood products from donor to final fate transfusion. The solution will also enable a regional shared inventory of all blood product stocks and a Donor Web Portal to allow online registration, appointment booking and submission of donor health check questionnaire which will improve the donor experience. Procurement activities are ongoing for the BPaT Project and major progress has been made with the contract schedules and other associated documentation.