Delivering high visibility performance monitoring for Blood Sciences at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

July 5, 2021

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s (HHFT) Blood Science laboratories are reaping the benefits of PhoenixSoft’s real-time performance dashboards. By monitoring the processing of three key tests used frequently in urgent and emergency care, the dashboards help to reduce turnaround times and identify processing errors.

Patient blood samples coming from the emergency department (ED) must be processed and results returned within an hour. PhoenixSoft’s dashboards track patient samples from when they arrive at the laboratory through to result generation. The dashboards use a traffic light system with new samples entering into the green area.
Mark Sidwell, Blood Sciences Manager, commented: “After 40 minutes, samples move into amber and our senior lab staff will start to check on progress and will work to ensure that results are sent up to the Emergency Department as a matter of priority. As soon as the test result is generated, the sample leaves the dashboard.
If a test result has not been generated after 60 minutes, it moves into the red zone. At this point, our turnaround time has been exceeded and we start a process to quickly identify what has affected the turnaround time as 90% of all our urgent requests should be turned around within that hour.”
With an objective to achieve zero “red” samples, the Blood Sciences dashboard provides a visual tool for the laboratory

team to monitor and proactively react to; prompting the lab team to react quickly to resolve any processing issues if a sample is flagged up on the dashboard. The HHFT blood sciences dashboards track haemoglobin, sodium and troponin tests.

Mark explains: “Haemoglobin gives us an indication of how our Full Blood Counts are progressing through the lab, similarly sodium provides an indication of how our renal profiles are doing. We track troponin as it is a key test used in the ED for patients with chest pain. We’ve identified our urgent locations such as A&E, intensive care and paediatric wards so the dashboard can track the tests related to those locations – as these are time critical.”
The dashboards are used at Winchester Hospital and Basingstoke Hospital’s laboratories which together process approximately 3000 biochemistry tests and 2000 haemoglobin tests daily. The dashboards are displayed on large TV screens and dedicated PC displays in the laboratories for all lab staff to see.
Although the vast majority of samples pass through the laboratories without any issue, the dashboards have also helped to reduce processing errors. Mark explains: “If we looked at the dashboard and a sample is still being displayed in the red zone, then it would indicate that the sample hasn’t been processed. On extremely rare occasions a sample may be left in reception or fall out of a rack. As the dashboard highlights all exceptions, that missing sample will appear at the top of the list – so we will find it and process it as quickly as possible. Not only do we get the result as quickly as possible to the clinical team, but this prevents the patient from being retested.”
Jason Woodard, CEO, PhoenixSoft Limited added: “The Blood Sciences Dashboard is a great example of how accessing pathology data in real-time can help laboratory staff to deliver high quality services quickly and effectively to improve patient care.”

The Blood Sciences dashboards build on the data acquisition capabilities of PhoenixSoft’s Data Companion product which provides bulk data extraction and real time update of pathology data into an accessible industry standard database for easy interrogation by pathology users.