Laboratory management software from Integrated Software Solutions is helping the newborn bloodspot screening service at GSTS Pathology LLP ensure that babies are not only screened within days of birth for the five established life-threatening diseases of infancy*, but also for a further five rare conditions, as part of the Expanded Newborn Screening study being run by the UK'sNational Institute for Health Research.
Winchester, August 20th 2013 -- Integrated Software Solutions Ltd, the specialist laboratory management software developer, today announces the latest implementation of its OMNI-Lab Newborn Screening management suite, this time at GSTS Pathology LLP, the unique and innovative joint venture between Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts and Serco plc. OMNI-Lab software is at the heart of a system that facilitates the safe and efficient management of bloodspots, taken by heelprick for screening from thousands of newborn infants each year in the South East Thames region (approx. 60,000 live births p.a.). The screening either indicates that the infants are not suspected of having any of five serious diseases of infancy*, or alerts paediatricians to the need for further testing and/or possible treatment.
Prior to implementing OMNI-Lab, GSTS had been using a bespoke LIMS based on a custom-written and since unsupported Microsoft(TM) Access 97(TM) database. Staff were concerned that the database was at increasing risk of data loss or corruption - unthinkable given the critically-important nature of the data being acquired and stored. In addition, the system was rapidly becoming obsolete in the face of new standards and was unable to interface with various laboratory analysers. So tenders were invited from several providers and Integrated Software Solutions, the developer of OMNI-Lab, was selected. Analie Booth, Service Delivery Manager -- Biochemical Sciences at the time, stated: "We chose OMNI-Lab for its good electronic links, the fact that it future-proofed us and we liked its flexibility."
Unlike previous customers for OMNI-Lab, who have usually opted for an off-the-peg solution, GSTS decided to get right under the skin of the system and build their own version from scratch. That meant several people learning how to write SQL and first they had to be trained by ISS. Analie explains: "We've got a system now that's bespoke for us, but which is fully supported by ISS. We've built up the capability in house such that we've got experts on site and don't have to wait for ISS to come up with the solutions to problems for us - we can start working on them ourselves, which is a massive bonus. Having said that, we've had a lot of support from the ISS guys both in Winchester, here in the UK and in Australia and that's ongoing." She added: "Although the implementation hasn't been without teething problems, we're getting there and we feel an awful lot safer than we did previously. We've also got interfaces to all our analysers, something we didn't have before. In phase two of the project we're looking to introduce messaging with child health and maternity units through an N3 secure data connection, allowing us to download patient details and populate our database automatically."