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Welcome to The Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems programme (NIPIMS) webpage 

Update: 14 September 2021

The Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management System (NIPIMS) programme is a programme to combine the seven regional information applications used within HSC Pathology onto a single, regional platform.

The NIPIMS Programme consists of both the Core LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) Project and the BPaT (Blood Production & Tracking) project.

HSC Pathology services perform around 40 million diagnostic tests each year, the results of which inform over 80% of all Healthcare diagnostic and therapeutic decisions for patients and underpin the effective functioning of around 95% of clinical pathways.

Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems (NIPIMS) Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems (NIPIMS)

This programme is both necessary in its own right, including recommendations though DHSSPS Recommendations for the Future of Pathology Services in Northern Ireland (2007) and ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together’ (2016), and also acts as an enabler for the ongoing pathology modernisation programme.

There is therefore an overwhelming case to proceed with replacement of existing regional LIMS with a consolidated laboratory information system.

The Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management System (NIPIMS) forms a foundational work stream aligned to a regional programme of HSC Pathology Modernisation, as part of the wider future HSC transformation.  

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)

When this programme is completed, HSCNI will have in place a significantly modernised, improved and rationalised Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). This will bring benefits of improved clinical care, risk and inequality reduction, with the capability to support wider organisational change taking place within HSCNI.

The Programme will be delivered through collaborative leadership across the HSC network. It will be supported by broad stakeholder engagement coupled with significant clinical and scientific leadership. Lessons learnt from similar programmes will be sought and applied.

The new LIMS will have a defined and committed support capability and capacity both within HSC and from all selected suppliers. This will be assisted by the development of associated governance structures to ensure ongoing operational excellence of the LIMS.

This LIMS will underpin the delivery of pathology diagnostic and monitoring services, supporting all relevant regulatory requirements. The development roadmap will ensure that the LIMS will be capable of delivering future clinical and technological development over the lifetime of the system.


LIMS Objectives

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Objectives

















BPaT Project

At present there are a number of LIMS in use by HSC laboratories and NIBTS, presenting significant challenges in terms of sharing information, integrated reporting, effective verification and validation procedures

NI requires a modern, regional and integrated Blood Production and Tracking solution. The main Blood Production system ‘Pulse’ used by NIBTS in particular is noted to require upgrading. There are various Blood Product usage (Tracking) systems within HSC Trusts, differing in levels of automation and complexity. Currently though no comprehensive automated information flow occurs between Blood Production (NIBTS) and Blood Tracking systems (Trusts). There is also no modern donor management system in place meaning donation appointments are currently booked via telephone and donor healthcheck questionnaire issued by mailshot and completed on day of donation session.

Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems (NIPIMS) Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems (NIPIMS) 

HSCNI will aim to have in place a modern, fit-for-purpose regional, rationalised and integrated Blood Production and Tracking solution. This will bring benefits of improved Blood Stock management, risk reduction, efficiency and quality assurance, and will support the wider delivery of the NIPIMS Programme and transformation of Pathology services in NI.

BPaT aims to implement an electronic vein to vein Blood Production and Tracking solution that will be capable of tracking blood products from donor to final fate transfusion. The solution will also enable a regional shared inventory of all blood product stocks and a Donor Web Portal to allow online registration, appointment booking and submission of donor health check questionnaire.