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Electronic Requesting

Surrey Pathology Services utilises the ICE (Integrated Clinical Environment) system supplied by Sunquest Information Systems.

Sunquest ICE is an established web-based service installed in more than 60% of Acute NHS trusts and accessed by more than 5,000 GP practices.

It is used all over the country by Pathology departments to provide an order communications solution for primary and secondary care environments.  Sunquest ICE allows clinical requests to be made from wards, clinics and GP surgeries, offering full tracking from the point of request through to the result issue.

It also includes a feature that allows GPs to view details from pathological investigations carried out on their patients whilst under our care (e.g. inpatient results).

How does the requesting process work?

The electronic requesting software (ICE) is accessed via the GP practice systems.  When a patient requires a Pathology test, the GP launches the ICE system and selects the investigations that he/she requires to be conducted.

Once the order has been completed, an order message is sent to the acute Trust.  At the same time a request form is printed within the surgery.  The sample is then collected and sent to the Pathology department with the request form using the usual transport system.  ICE also supports deferred sample collection.

When the sample arrives in Pathology, it is booked onto the laboratory computer system using a scanner.  This then triggers the sending of the order information from ICE over to the laboratory computer system.  The sample is then ready to be processed.

Once the result data has been entered onto the laboratory computer system and authorised, the data is ready to be transferred back to the surgery by Pathology Messaging.

How does the reporting process work?

ICE provides a secondary results reporting method to the current Pathology Messaging service (GP Links).  It will allow GPs to view all results online, whether the request originated from the surgery or by a Trust-based clinician.  This means that the doctors can view the whole history of the patient’s results.

If the Pathology Messaging system fails, ICE can be used as a back-up until it is restored.