An Australian IT firm in Melbourne has been awarded a $30 million (£15.9 million) contract to manage pathology data for the national health service in Wales in the United Kingdom.
Citadel Health secured the deal, despite COVID-19 lockdowns and being on the other side of the world, by negotiating via video link.
The deal will bring together the management of end-to-end patient testing for every discipline across Wales making it the largest and most inclusive single laboratory information management system in the United Kingdom, Citadel Health said in a statement.
It will replace the current three separate systems with the Evolution vLab Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) software.
The company’s general manager Stephen Lynch said getting test results quickly and accurately was essential for clinicians and patients, to allow them to make timely decisions about treatments, and ultimately provide the best possible outcomes.
“Our cutting-edge technology provides a unified pathology workflows to help people now, and into the future, as new tests and services are developed to meet growing demands,” he said.
The IT system will take two years to build, replacing three current platforms in use in Wales.
When finished, it will manage the data from more than 35 million tests carried out by the Welsh health service and will be the largest single lab information system in the UK, linking hospitals, labs, and GP clinics.
“This is something we’ve been doing for over 20 years in Australia,” Lynch said.
The Melbourne firm has decades of experience providing its services across the length and breadth of Australia, working in remote and regional locations.
Pathology data and results underpin about 70 percent of all diagnoses in Wales, but the country’s growing and ageing population is putting pressure on health services.
“For clinicians and patients alike, getting test results as quickly and accurately as possible is essential to allow them to make timely decisions about treatments,” Lynch said.
The new system is expected to enhance clinical decision-making, laboratory operations, and quality of care across every laboratory, hospital, and GP surgery in Wales.
It is also expected to improve the quality and speed of diagnosis for patients, reducing the need for repeat testing and giving patients access to the best pathology services available in Wales, wherever they are based.
AAP contributed to this report.