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  • National Pathology and Diagnostics May 2020 Newsletter

    Information Sharing Events: our forward view Roadmap

    Dear all,

    At the recent information sharing events in Leeds and London, we shared with you a proposed Pathology Standards Implementation Roadmap for your feedback to enable us to identify any gaps and inform prioritisation.

    The following 3 artefacts were discussed during the sessions and are now available to view on our Pathology and Diagnostics Kahootz site:

    As discussed during the events, the proposed implementation roadmap is split across 5 separate workstreams.

    A summary of the feedback received on each workstream during both of the events can be found here on our Kahootz site

    If you have any additional feedback on the implementation Principles and Roadmap, please contact us via our team mailbox:


    UTL v0.4 release

    At the recent Information Sharing Sessions in London, we consulted you on two aspects of the UTL Beta Release.

    • Release Schedule - you can find our proposed release schedule within the composite slide set from the events here
    • Human/Beta Readable Release Format - you expressed an interest in receiving a non-HTML version

    Based on your feedback, we produced a text only version of the UTL Beta content, which is provided in `tab delimited format`. 

    We are also proposing a schema specification of the Beta Release Format. This is outlined in the `UTL_Beta_Release_Format_Schema_Guide.pdf` file that is included in the UTL package.

    UTL0.4.0_20200316 was a minor interim release with a modest increase in new content of over 130 rows including the following:

    • Coagulation factors
    • Acylcarnitines by blood spot
    • CD counts,
    • Calculi (stones)
    • Complement
    • Haemoglobin variants.

    The UTL v0.4 package, draft editorial principles and product description were published on our UTL Kahootz page on 18th March and can be accessed here

    In light of the current COVID-19 Pandemic we have decided not to release the machine-readable RF2 version of UTL v0.4.0 on TRUD to allow for focus on other priorities.

    Future release plans will be shared with our user community as soon as they are available.


    COVID-19 and Pathology

    As a result of discussions with a number of organisations, a number of standard codes and descriptions for tests and test results related to COVID-19 have now been developed. These were circulated to Public Health England; NHSX; middleware, OrderComms, Laboratory and GP system suppliers. Following feedback and final agreement these were published as part of the UK SNOMED CT Clinical Edition on 22 April 2020

    Guidance for end users on these is incorporated in a document produced in collaboration with the PRSB which can be found here on the COVID-19 Information Standards Kahootz site; please note this includes clinical care related terms as well.

    In addition, NHS Digital have produced guidance for the national naming, coding and processing of SARS-COV-2 Pathology tests. 

    Please note that the current version of this guidance (v1.1.7) covers the population of PMIP NHS003 messages and the mapping of the message payload to SNOMED CT for filing into General Practice EPR systems.

    The next version on the guidance (v2.0) will be published shortly and will contain additional information for Labs and LIMS on naming requestable and reportable items related to SARS-COV-2 Testing.


    Pathology FAQ’S

    We have recently published a new frequently asked questions database on the Pathology and Diagnostics Kahootz site based on queries raised during  our recent stakeholder engagement events and monthly "introduction to SNOMED CT in Pathology" webinars. The content of the FAQs database can now be searched and sorted, and will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis


    Education and training materials

    During the last PINUG meeting we presented an overview of our Pathology Information Standards education and training materials. There is already a wealth of useful information on our Kahootz site including guidance documents, case studies, technical resources and animations.

    We are keen to develop further bespoke training materials to meet our stakeholder requirements and with this in mind would like to invite you to answer the following electronic survey  which should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete. Your input will ensure that the materials developed are what you want and in formats that you find easiest to digest.


    Pathology Informatics National User Group (PINUG)

    The last PINUG meeting was held on the 12th May and discussions focused on the feedback from our recent Information sharing events in Leeds and London.

    Requesting and Test Sets (Panels)

    At the Pathology and Diagnostics information sharing events in Feb/March this year we made a request to attendees for them to share information with us on:

    1. Test codes, names and descriptions (essentially all descriptive data available) on the pathology tests being ordered in their area
    2. Equivalent data for named “Test Sets” (aka Panels/Profiles/Batteries…), plus the relationships between the Sets and the component single tests
    3. Volumetric data (tests requested over a defined period), to help us identify and prioritise the most heavily used tests and Test Sets

    We are grateful to the first two organisations that have responded to this request.


    Harrogate and District NHS foundation Trust

    NHS Harrogate were the first to respond with a data extract from their LIMS. Working with the Trust we have been through several iterations of the extract, understanding and refining the data. This has provided a valuable initial view of real-world local lab data, and also enabled us to clarify and document the data set we need to capture from other labs to form a broader picture of requesting codes and practice across the country.


    LIMS Supplier Data

    A LIMS software supplier in the UK have made available to us a data extract covering a number of active labs in the UK. At the supplier’s request the names and identities of the labs involved have been obscured in the data set. With this caveat in place they have agreed to make the data available to the project, and to the wider stakeholder group, in support of the overall aims of the project.

    The response to the Covid-19 epidemic has made further engagement with Labs impractical over the last 2 months. We hope that as the situation begins to stabilise we will be able to re-open discussions and gather more data in support of our standardisation work.

    The next PINUG meeting will be on the 14th July 2020: If you would like to attend please make the request through the Pathology and Diagnostics Mailbox:

    By Chris Hood 2 years ago

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