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MedLIS project has entered ‘comprehensive testing phase’

By Catherine Reilly - 17th Dec 2023

MedLIS

The initial build of the MedLIS laboratory information system has been completed and the project has entered a “detailed and comprehensive testing phase”, according to the HSE.

Beaumont Hospital in Dublin has been identified as the first site for deployment, which is scheduled for May 2024.

“Further deployment and national roll-out will be based on risk and service need, but Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, and Cavan General Hospital are most likely the next sites. Deployment will also be aligned with roll-out of the national maternity newborn system,” the HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

The national MedLIS project aims to establish an integrated nationwide laboratory information system, which will ensure healthcare providers have rapid 24-hour access to up-to-date laboratory data across all sites.

The initiative has been beset by delays. HSE management first granted approval for the project in 2010. Cerner was identified as the preferred supplier in 2013 and a contract was signed in September 2015. When the deployment component of the project commenced in late 2015, it was envisaged the last site would go live by June 2019.

A most recent setback was the cyberattack on the HSE in May 2021, which required the national MedLIS project team to be re-directed to support the acute and immediate response.

According to the website of HSE eHealth Ireland, the MedLIS “server environment and infrastructure” were also impacted by the cyberattack and a decision was made to “rebuild and host the application remotely in Sweden, in line with Cerner’s long-term strategy”.

“This will facilitate a code upgrade to the latest supported version, alignment with a Cloud first policy and a robust disaster recovery environment. The rebuild in Sweden was completed in March 2023.”

The web post outlined that MedLIS had experienced “significant challenges and external shocks since the contract was signed with Cerner in 2015”. However, the vision remained the same in terms of paperless ordering and reporting, with a consolidated patient laboratory record, supported centrally by a dedicated national support team.

The cost associated with MedLIS since 2022 is €5 million, the HSE informed MI.

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