Liverpool community trust first to deploy neonatal screening results solution

EMIS solution replaces paper-based systems to improve test results services

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust (LCH) is piloting a new solution to revolutionise the delivery of neonatal screening results for newborn babies.

At present every child in Merseyside is routinely screened after birth by a midwife as part of the Healthy Child Programme and, until now, the process of delivering test results back to parents has always involved a lot of duplication.

Now, working in partnership with EMIS and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital trust, LCH has developed a secure mailbox solution that receives the result electronically directly into the child’s record without the need for repeated manual input by different departments or services.

Peter Woods, information management and technology senior project manager for Informatics Merseyside, said of the move: “Previously our local laboratories had to post all baby screening results to the trust for reporting purposes. These results were then manually inputted into an electronic system and provided to health visitors as a paper record, so it was a fairly inefficient process.

As far as we know, no other trust in the UK is doing this yet and it’s an innovation which has some massive implications for us

“Introducing this solution means that now we only need to enter data once for each child, where previously it had to be entered multiple times by different departments and teams.

“As far as we know, no other trust in the UK is doing this yet and it’s an innovation which has some massive implications for us. Not only is it enabling us to speed up our baby screening process by between 2-5 days on average, and enabling us to get results back to families much quicker, it’s also helping to significantly reduce paperwork for key staff such as our health visitors. The system also removes the risk of human error in data inputting and will allow our records to be more easily audited, which will help us to manage our performance better in the future too.”

Although the trust already has the new system live and running, it will continue to receive paper-based reports for manual checking alongside the automated system for a three-month trial period to ensure it maintains 100% accuracy. If all goes to plan, the trust will make the switch to the electronic version permanently from January.

Bernie Cuthel, chief executive of LCH said: “Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust is committed to continuously innovating with our staff to enhance our systems and improve the quality and effectiveness of the healthcare services that we deliver to our communities.”