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Laboratory project delivers huge benefits

Waikato DHB Laboratory Information System project team

Photo: Front: Jo O’Sullivan (Lab), Ovinder Bradfield (IS), Kay Stockman (Lab), Melinda Ch’ng (Clinical Support), Michelle Curtis (CSC). Back: Greg Keyte (IS), Geoff King (IS), Ivy Morrison (CSC), Chris Mansell (Lab), Thomas Jones (CSC), Sonia Harper (Finance), Sharyn Green (CSC).

Most projects get publicity when they are launched – but the real success story is often when they are completed and deliver benefits that were hoped for.
After six long years, the Laboratory Information System (LIS) project at Waikato District Health Board has come to a close, formally on 14 July 2015.
The project was first started in 2008, gathered the requirements and processes that the laboratory required, followed by a process to select the most appropriate Information System supplier. CSC, the selected vendor, has worked closely in partnership with Waikato DHB in the reconfiguration of the iLab (European) product to meet Waikato’s requirements.
The Laboratory Information System has delivered on 2000 business requirements and produced an immense number of benefits including:
  • Improved and more efficient processes – laboratory-defined rules facilitating workflow, enabling more effective use of scientist time to focus on abnormal or unexpected result verification
  • Result quality has improved significantly and reduced error/incident rates
  • Ability to graphically plot results and observe trends over time aiding with efficient review and interpretation of results
  • Good specimen tracking – it is now possible to locate specimen at any stage of processing including transfer between laboratories and departments
  • Specimen storage system is provided within the application to further aid sample tracking
  • An audit trail on all activities is carried out in LIS to monitor, investigate and improve processes
  • Ability to easily comply to MOH initiatives (e.g. Waikato DHB was the first lab to meet MOH recommendations for Breast Biopsy electronic specimen tracking)
  • Ability to extract simple to medium complexity statistical reports
  • Removal of paper trail meaning the lab is fully electronic
  • Storing of all information pertaining to the order within LIS and configurable quality checks can be actioned to assist the user in carrying out day to day work (e.g. automated replies to clinicians to reduce duplicate or unnecessary testing, ability to capture internal workings that are not sent out to requestor etc.)
  • The configurability available in the application will enable the laboratory to continue to improve their processes and enable the usage of new technology
  • Ability to link Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the test in LIS so that user has rapid access to SOPs in electronic format while processing tests
  • Online Lab Manual with improved search facility

It has been very much a Laboratory-driven project working closely with the DHB’s Information Services and CSC. There will be ongoing enhancements, even though the project itself has finisheds. “Thank you to everyone involved, especially our laboratory super users who worked tirelessly for so many years on this project.”

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