NHS Scotland awards national lab framework to Citadel Health

Monday, 11 July, 2022

NHS Scotland awards national lab framework to Citadel Health

NHS Scotland is set to connect the laboratory medicine network across Scotland with the help of Australian health tech company Citadel Health.

Citadel Health’s Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) framework will help connect NHS laboratory medicine labs and hospitals across Scotland. It will help NHS link and streamline complex clinical processes to improve the patient experience.

Laboratory Medicine provides laboratory services to primary and secondary care centres across Scotland. Laboratories perform over 100 million tests per year and employ over 4000 staff, and provide a 24/7 clinical and medical laboratory service and a comprehensive range of investigations including decentralised testing sites. Laboratory tests play a part in 70–80% of all healthcare decisions affecting diagnosis of disease, treatment and monitoring response to treatment.

LIMS is used to result and report all primary, secondary and tertiary laboratory requests received by Laboratory Medicine. It also provides capability to create automation of workflows, integration of instruments, and management of samples and their associated information. LIMS systems interface with several key local and national healthcare systems, for example: patient administration systems; electronic patient records; analytical middleware; electronic order communication systems; and regional and national systems.

The 10-year partnership with Citadel Health is expected to help enhance diagnostic capability across NHS Scotland through collaboration, national standardisation and improved systems.

By managing more than 100 million specimen and test requests processed each year by NHS Scotland’s pathology labs, the system is said to have the potential to improve equality in patient access, cutting duplication and freeing up clinicians to manage resources within the network. Citadel Health’s Evolution vLab software already supports NHS Trusts in England and Wales and the new NHS Scotland partnership follows their recent successful tender to roll out the LIMS network across Wales.

Mary Morgan, Chief Executive at NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), said, “Enabling health and social care transformation is one of our strategic priorities and this new partnership with Citadel Health represents a positive step for laboratory medicine in Scotland — where focusing on transformational change will lead to improved patient experience and greater efficiency, collaboration and connection across NHS Scotland boards.

Mike Gray, Laboratory Service Manager, NHS Lothian and Chair of the LIMS implementation program, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for seamless interfacing across systems and the ability to quickly pull data from an efficient and effective LIMS on a national scale, so we sought a new LIMS supplier. Being able to share standardised results in real time will enable effective diagnosis for patients across the whole of the NHS Scotland, paving the pathway for improved patient outcomes.”

Image credit: The Jack Copland Centre in Edinburgh, photo © Andrew Lee

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