NHS Blood and Transplant is undertaking an electronic reporting pilot with nine hospitals in England, which could lead to the development of a national antibody database.
Following discussions with a number of trusts, NHSBT hopes to replace the traditional method of specialist services printing and sending hard copy reports and antibody cards by implementing the Sunquest ICE web browser, initially for the requesting of red cell immunohaematology reports.
The hospitals involved in the initiative, is known as ‘SP-ICE’, will trial the system this year before it is implemented nationally. The organisation is also planning a similar project for histocompatibility and immunogenetics reports in 2013.
Teresa Allen, assistant director of customer services at NHSBT, said: “Our hospital customers have told us that one of the ways that we can improve the service that we provide is to ensure that they can access patient test results more effectively, making greater use of IT solutions.
“We have chosen a software platform which will help to reduce test turnaround time and ensure that results can be securely accessed by clinicians.”
The project aims to deliver a reduced risk of transcription errors, results within one hour of authorisation, a full audit trail of report access, access to historic test results and the ability to search and display reports for a single patient or requesting location.
The initiative will allow requesting organisations to create ‘paperless’ laboratories and NHSBT has said that feedback has indicated that hospitals would also like the ability to view test results from other trusts, to help with the care of patients who move between different healthcare providers.
If all organisations taking part in the project give permission for all other organisations to view their results, NHSBT will be able to provide a national antibody database, while hiding an individual patient’s results.
The ICE web browser was originally developed for use in hospital trusts, but Sunquest has worked with NHSBT to implement software changes so it will function in a national environment. Access will be provided via a secure N3 connection. NHSBT will discuss options with hospitals that do not have N3.
“Cost effective and scalable IT systems to securely share patient test results between NHS organisations will be key to delivering improved patient care and the modernisation of Pathology Services,” said Dr Andrew Hadley, general manager for specialist services operations at NHSBT.
“The SP-ICE initiative represents an important step towards integrating NHS Blood and Transplant's diagnostic laboratories with the rest of the NHS.”
The nine hospitals in the pilot are: Freeman Hospital, Manor Hospital, Poole General Hospital, Russells Hall Hospital, Southampton General Hospital, The Royal Bournemouth Hospital, University Hospital Birmingham, University Hospital of Coventry (Walsgrave) and University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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