Major IT project delivers largest national laboratory information system for health sector

Auckland laboratory was the final site to go live for Project Nova

Aotearoa’s leading pathology laboratory service provider, Awanui, has successfully completed the final phase of Project NOVA, which sees the deployment of a single core information system for the organisation’s human pathology laboratories covering an estimated 75% of New Zealand communities.

Chief Information Officer Brent Glanville says the project is one the largest national information systems deployed across New Zealand’s laboratory sector and completing a project of this scale and complexity is a massive achievement.

“Project NOVA was undertaken to replace the two different and older instances of the laboratory information systems across 18 of our sites throughout the country.

“We now have an integrated and customised information system for our human pathology testing, which will deliver greater consistency and efficiency for how we are collecting, collating, storing and reporting on patient laboratory results.”

As well as major efficiency gains, the completion of a single, national information system gives our organisation more capability to deliver more timely results and better support clinicians and their patients.

“Our staff now have easy access to the same data as their colleagues around the country meaning greater consistency to updating and maintaining accurate patient records and more timely reporting of test results to clinicians. NOVA has also enhanced security for our data and information and the resilience of the system for the future.”

Brent says Project NOVA’s different workstreams, including ensuring there was the IT infrastructure and capability to support the single core system, was critical to the project’s success.

“There was a large amount of data being migrated and merged from the two older systems.  After initial load testing, there was a significant amount of IT and user acceptance testing in each site to ensure regional nuances were captured.

“The project team had to review and migrate thousands of test configurations across to NOVA as well as rules for validation, electronic ordering, and referring tests between laboratories”

Brent says NOVA was interfaced with the analysers in the laboratories and various applications for managing patient request forms, data warehouse feeds and reporting results to patients and clinicians.  

An important part of the project was also building in robust security measures and ensuring disaster recover capability. 

“As part of contingency planning for Cyclone Gabrielle, the system was failed over to our backup site to ensure it remained available to our laboratories.”

“We are very proud of the huge amount of work and effort of everyone involved in the project to successfully complete the deployment of the system, which can meet the needs of clinicians and patients today and for our future health system,” says Brent.

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