NPEx Republic of Ireland Roadshow

Leaders in Diagnostics 2018

The NPEx team travelled to Dublin on the 7th September to host the successful and thought-provoking Republic of Ireland Roadshow. Held at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, the event attracted attendees from across the Republic, and some from Northern Ireland, representing disciplines from Pathology IT to Medical Science and Genetics. The NPEx Roadshow was an opportunity for us to present our solution to a wider audience and offer Irish laboratories the capacity, efficiency and unity experienced by our UK-based and NHS users.

The day began with talks from Steve Box, X-Lab’s Business Development Director, who offered a comprehensive overview of what NPEx is, why it is needed and how it will progress. This was followed by our keynote speaker, The Health Informatics Service’s (THIS) Assistant Director of Informatics, Chris Dunne, who gave context to the unique partnership between the NHS’s THIS and X-Lab that enables the solution to be so successfully and widely used. Sam Bates, Deployments and Support Technician at X-Lab, gave a demonstration of NPEx to all those in attendance, highlighting its features and functionality compared with paper-based methods.

Chris Dunne said: ‘THIS and X-Lab have facilitated a number of successful NPEx Roadshows across the UK. These events are an opportunity to engage with prospective customers through a series of presentations and demonstrations and allow the audience to participate in a group discussion. This is a pivotal time for NPEx, with over 65% NHS coverage, enabling the Genomics programme, a successful STP Bid and the roll out of the service across the whole of Scotland. It was a pleasure to be invited to Dublin and share how NPEx is key to the digital transformation of diagnostic services.’

The day was not just about presenting NPEx to a new audience but about exploring why NPEx is the right solution for Ireland. Caroline Joyce, Principal Clinical Biochemist at Cork University Hospital, explained the needs of laboratory medicine in Ireland. She listed challenges in specialist testing, meeting demands, retaining efficiency, referring tests, savings costs, reducing risks and performing External Quality Assurance (EQA) – for all of which NPEx offers a solution.

She said: ‘The recent NPEx roadshow in Dublin provided an ideal opportunity for laboratory personnel to network and consider new approaches to electronic reporting. NPEx had many attractive functions, not least being the management of EQA. I am looking forward to exploring more options at the upcoming NPEx User Group in Sheffield later this month.’

We further heard from Dr Aileen Butler, Principal Clinical Scientist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, on the challenges faced by Clinical Genetics in Ireland. She explored how NPEx can improve the delivery of genetic medicine from ‘before the cradle to the grave’ by tackling the fragmentation faced by Irish laboratory services and enabling the use of information as a form of therapy.

Aileen Butler said: ‘I believe that NPEx represents a significant opportunity for improving the test referral process in Irish Pathology and Medical Genetics services, through both a reduced clinical risk and increased cost effectiveness. Engagement at the Dublin event from participants indicates others also now share this view. I’m excited about embarking on the next steps to translate this into real benefits for Irish patients.’

We welcomed Severn Pathology’s Service Director, Dave Gibbs, from the specialist, purpose-built testing facility belonging to North Bristol NHS Trust. He spoke on the value of NPEx in offering their broad spectrum of specialist tests to labs in Ireland who could benefit from their vast facilities.

The day ended with a panel discussion with the Roadshow’s speakers joined by Mag Hylands, the National Order Comms Lead for MedLIS, and chaired by Dr Seán Costelloe, Consultant Clinical Biochemist at Cork University Hospital, which encouraged lively debate and thought-provoking questions. Topics like enabling labs outside of the UK NHS’s N3 connection to send and refer tests and results via remote VPN devices came into discussion and provided attendees with an understanding of just how beneficial NPEx could be for them.

The NPEx team would like to thank all those who attended the day and especially Caroline and Aileen for their hard work in making this event a very successful reality. We look forward to the future opportunities, progress and collaborations that will be born out of this event as NPEx continues to grow internationally.