A digital Laboratory Information System to help boost the work rate, efficiency and overall output of work at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research by over 30%, has been installed.This will also greatly help in the improvement of processes in the coronavirus fight in Ghana.
The system, known as the SchuyLab digital Laboratory Information System (LIS), at the Virology Laboratories of the NMIMR, “will expand COVID-19 testing capacity at Noguchi by over 30% and increase the speed of delivering results.”
Announcing this at a ceremony in Accra, the Director at the NMIMR, Prof Abraham Kwabena Anang said that through the initiative of Medlab Services Ghana Ltd, the GHs 600,000 (over $100,000) project was able to come online.
A Laboratory Information System is an automated, integrated system for registering laboratory specimens, tracking and reporting test samples, releasing results, and archiving data.
The installation, which is at the Noguchi Virology Laboratories, is the first phase of the “LIS for Ghana” project and is planned to be followed this year by a similar installation at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory, Accra.
“The Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research has proceeded to engage with SchuyLab to install LID in the entire Institute. We believe it is going to enhance our research, promote excellence and do all the good things we know about confidentiality, use of the bar code, the rapid distribution of results for research as well,” Prof. Anang said.
Dr. Rosemary Keatley, Managing Director of Medlab, and through whose initiative this project was undertaken, said that the need for support in the fight of the coronavirus in the country, with limited finances, is what pushed her to engage the private sector to get this system installed.
She was excited that with this system, it will significantly reduce the labour that workers at the Institute put into their data gathering, even beyond coronavirus-related activities.
“This project will have a major multiplier effect by building sustainable capacity to manage the COVID-19 pandemic on behalf of the people of Ghana,” she said.
Private donors funded over 80% of the cost of the project with the remainder provided by the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, chaired by former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo.
It will also strengthen the traceability, efficiency, confidentiality, archiving and retrieval of results for tests conducted at the Institute, a statement released by the Healthcare Federation of Ghana said.
Among some of the donors were the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, Fidelity Bank Ghana Ltd, Sir Sam Jonah, the Leibinger family of Germany, Medlab Services Ghana Ltd, Schuyler House Inc, and some anonymous donors in Switzerland.
The SchuyLab LIS is expected to better the work of the Institute by 30% and increase the speed of delivering test results, helping to totally eliminate the manual way of test gathering for the coronavirus.
SchuyLab was developed by the US software developer, Schuyler House Inc., a CompuGroup Medical company based in California, and has been installed in over 1,000 laboratories worldwide. In Ghana, the system has been in use at Synlab Ghana Ltd (formerly Medlab Ghana Ltd) since 2011.