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Leeds University Hospitals Trust successfully implements system to manage tissue tracking across multiple teams, hospitals and sites

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Project Details

  • Customer : Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust
  • Category :Sample Management
  • Go Live :2009
  • Main Benefit : HTA Compliance
  • Customer :

The Customer

Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust (LTHT) includes Leeds University and six NHS hospitals – Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds Dental Institute, Leeds General Infirmary, St James’s University Hospital, Seacroft Hospital and Wharfedale Hospital. Achiever is actively used at four of those hospitals and across the University.

The Challenge

In December 2008 the trust went to tender for a system to manage tissue tracking across multiple teams, hospitals and sites and to support compliance with the Human Tissue Act.

The main challenge for the Trust was to provide tissue tracking facilities across 27 separate locations with a consistent system/processes, where previously each team in each location had local solutions as separate databases or spreadsheets and locally-designed procedures. Each team also had different team-specific data requirements. HTA compliance management was, therefore, very difficult.

The remit was to implement an efficient tissue management system that covered compliance with applicable legislation (Human Tissue Act, Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information, etc.) without introducing an administrative burden on users; to maximise visibility of tissue holdings and auditing data and allow the adoption of 2D barcoding for newly collected samples.

Data migration services were also provided for a number of the teams, importing data from a variety of sources.

The Result

There are now 99 separate tissue collections being managed by Achiever as “projects” across LTHT, 45 of which are static historical records and the remaining 54 are active. There is also a very large number of separate storage locations being managed.

Data was imported into Achiever using standardised import templates and guidance provided on data formatting and processing. The team were trained in suitably sized groups as close to go-live as logistically possible to maintain the learning and best prepare the users.

Small team-specific configuration elements were applied to support user buy-in as each team was used to having autonomy in its data handling. Careful application of customisation allowed the standard institute-wide compliance and tracking benefits to be rolled out smoothly across some very disparate working environments.

The identity of sample donors was to be protected with no patient identifiable data allowed. Achiever’s secure encryption capabilities were used, which encrypt all sensitive data as it is saved in the database protecting data from research staff and even the database administrators. Donor names are only visible to the authorised users and overseen and managed by the ethics committee responsible for each project.

The quality of the donor, informed consent, storage and tissue viability data greatly increased the value of the tissues to researchers. Once cleansed, the storage management capabilities helped to increase levels of utilisation thereby reducing overhead costs per sample.

Donor clinical profile information associated with the Samples is also held in the allowing researchers to search for tissue samples from specific cohorts of donor with further filtering available by the level of consent given by the donors. This level of search capability allows the teams to service very specialist research requests, thereby increasing the value of each team’s tissue inventory.

Integration was completed to link the established in-house informed consent logging system with Achiever to support the nurses taking consent in the hospital clinics. This integration reduced the clinic nurses’ workloads, eliminated duplication of data entry and maximised data quality whilst working within the IT and legislative constraints imposed by the disparate working environments.

The Benefits

Return on investment and benefits realisation

  • Ease of compliance with the Human Tissue Act (HTA)
  • Standardised institute-wide compliance and auditing processes
  • Autonomy to evolve the solution as teams’ needs change
  • Time and cost savings through optimised faster clinic and lab processes
  • Risk reduction via simplified and automating processes
  • Improved data accuracy with automated processes and data capture
  • Improved oversight for HTA PDs HTA DI ethics committees
  • Configurable with no or minimal involvement of IT departments
  • Improved efficiency to analyse data or perform stock-take of inventory