iSOFT deploys laboratory system at Derriford Hospital

Solution to improve workflow and turnaround times in all laboratory disciplines

iSOFT has agreed a deal with Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust for a business intelligence tool to boost performance across its busy laboratory departments.

Drawing information from the iSOFT laboratory system at Plymouth, the new solution will provide a dashboard to monitor key performance indicators in real time. This includes the turnaround times of test samples to guarantee targets are met. The trust faces local and national NHS targets for A&E specimens, for instance, plus contractual targets for commercial treatment centres and private healthcare firms.

“The solution will allow us to pro-actively manage specimens to identify potential breaches in turnaround times before they become critical,” said Adrian Heathcote, the trust’s pathology IT manager. “This represents a fundamental shift in ethos.

It is impossible to monitor targets in real time using the data extract tools commonly found in pathology departments, so breaches only become apparent after the event

“It is impossible to monitor targets in real time using the data extract tools commonly found in pathology departments, so breaches only become apparent after the event. The solution will help mitigate risk and is an additional tool to help us continue with our other customer-focused service improvements.”

A second phase will see iSOFT’s laboratory business intelligence solution used to optimise workflow and improve performance. This includes plans to examine demand to ensure the right people and skills are in place at peak times and to pinpoint bottlenecks.

Seventy to eighty percent of diagnoses now rely on pathology tests and the pressure on laboratory services will only intensify

The solution will used across all three laboratories at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital and across all laboratory disciplines, including histopathology, microbiology, haematology and clinical biochemistry. The trust’s pathology directorate currently employs 257 staff and conducts 6.5 million tests on 1.3 million specimens a year.

“Seventy to eighty percent of diagnoses now rely on pathology tests and the pressure on laboratory services will only intensify,” said Adrian Stevens, managing director of iSOFT’s UK business. “Our solution gives pathology departments the means to remove inefficiencies and find savings.

“As an early adopter, we will work closely with Plymouth to further shape the product to meet specific NHS needs.”

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