Patient waiting times cut by new system

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Requesting patient tests and processing the results has been revolutionised at Barnsley Hospital thanks to communications software which has doubled the capacity of on-site laboratories.

The system means doctors can request and receive the results for a range of patient tests electronically – speeding up patient care.

It has replaced the old paperwork system, eliminating duplication of tests and delays in booking in tests for patients.

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is the first in the country to have fully implemented the system on a large scale covering the whole health community of Barnsley.

Dr Tom Locker, a consultant in the emergency department, said: “The system allows us to request investigations quickly and accurately, review what investigations have already been requested and track the progress of investigations in the lab.

“In addition we can easily access a patient’s previous investigations, including those performed by their GP.

This has helped to reduce the length of time patients wait in the emergency department, eliminate unnecessary investigations and provided a significant improvement in patient safety.”

Project manager Katherine Sowden said: “The laboratories can now process 300 electronic requests for tests per hour, compared to previous manual processes which averaged 150 requests per hour.”