Empowerment & Governance

Lab Information System

A contract was signed between the Government of Jamaica and Starlims, an overseas based firm, in April 2007 for the implementation of a Laboratory Information System (LIS) at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) and the Blood Bank. This is the first of a two-phased process funded by the proceeds of a loan from the World Bank.

The LIS enables the tracking of samples from source (with the use of bar codes affixed to the samples), through the testing process, into storage and ultimately to sample disposal. Currently, samples received in the Sample Reception area of the NPHL are bar coded before being dispatched to the various departments for processing. Lab equipment linked to the LIS allow automatic transfer of results, where manual sample processing is required, the results are manually entered into the LIS. Reports generated can show all test results related to a particular sample, a history of past test results as well as combine results from different disciplines to one report, giving a better overall view of a patient’s condition.

The NPHL and Blood Bank was equipped to facilitate the installation of the LIS including the purchase of several hardware items, the installation of a wide area network and the physical expansion of areas at the NPHL. The LIS has connectivity to the Kingston Public Hospital Emergency Lab, the Comprehensive Health Centre lab and the Victoria Jubilee Cross Match Lab.

The process to streamline the system in all departments is ongoing. The second phase of the process calls for the roll out to the regions enabling the creation of a more effective management tool to track disease conditions and provide a more holistic approach to patient management. The LIS is one module of a more comprehensive Health Information System the Ministry of Health will implement in the long term.