UK | OMS - Custom software for medical testing
We turned a highly specialised paper-based process into a secure online system that can be accessed any time, anywhere, on any device.
We had to deal with a large amount of specialised data and technical terminology and make sure that the system presented it in a way that was intuitive to the users.
The system needed to combine smooth workflow and clear presentation with the ability to scale rapidly as the business grows.
UK Orthopaedic Microbiology Services (UKOMS) was established in Sheffield in 2011 to provide specialist infection testing and advisory services to orthopaedic surgeons around the country.
Every year, around 15,000 people develop infections following hip or knee replacement operations. Surgeons have to perform a revision operation to take samples to uncover the cause of the problem. Surgeons download a form from the UKOMS website to send with their samples to UKOMS. The UKOMS lab carries out the testing to identify the infection and its resistance or susceptibility to different types of antibiotics.
Once the laboratory work has been completed, the UKOMS specialists respond with a detailed diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.
Security: to protect patient data, samples are anonymised when they are put into the system. Surgeons’ access is protected by a login and the surgeon controls who else can see particular records (eg a secretary or organisation manager).
Workflow: to understand what the system needed to do, we had to learn how the testing lab works and then work with the UKOMS team to reproduce and optimise the process. This involved dealing with a large amount of complex technical data, grouping information logically and keeping as close to the current process workflow as possible.
User experience: surgeons are used to having test result information presented in a particular way, so we made sure that the online experience reproduced what they were used to. We kept it simple and anticipated how surgeons would use the information; for example, by allowing them to search by patient (rather than by sample) and see all the records relating to a particular patient in one place.
Multi-device: the system is designed to work across devices, allowing both surgeons and UKOMS specialists to access it wherever they are. This also means that the UKOMS specialists can see results quickly and provide rapid treatment advice to surgeons.
Scalability: at the end of 2013, UKOMS had contracts with 8 hospitals across the UK and handled 275 patients in the last 6 months of the year. They are expecting very rapid growth and the system has been built to grow with them.