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23 September 2016
This article is available in: English

Dutch hospitals are smoothing the way to future growth

As Dutch hospitals evolve new care strategies, GLIMS and CyberLab support complex, multi-site and multidisciplinary activities. This preferred LIS of Dutch hospitals and private labs is now being used in four more healthcare organisations, with proven project management creating a smooth transition.

labMore and more, Dutch hospitals and labs are merging or collaborating for effective, efficient patient care. But this creates complex, multisite, multidisciplinary activities that really need a powerful, flexible LIS. Now, the University Medical Centre (UMC) in Groningen, the Zuyderland Medical Centre in Heerlen, the CBSL laboratory in Hilversum and the laboratory of Clinical Chemistry at the Slotervaart hospital in Amsterdam, which collaborates with the OLVG hospital group, have all gone live in the first half of 2016 with GLIMS – the preferred LIS of Dutch laboratories. 

Project-oriented approach

Each project offered its own challenges. The very large-scale project at UMC in Groningen involved multiple laboratories. For the Zuyderland Medical Centre, the needs of two merging hospitals – Orbis in Sittard-Geleen and Atrium in Heerlen – had to be met, one of which already had GLIMS and one of which didn’t. The installation at the Central Bacteriology and Serology Laboratory of the Tergooi hospital in Hilversum shows how well GLIMS fits and meets the needs for multidisciplinary laboratory activities. And the on-going implementation at the Slotervaart laboratory of Clinical Chemistry involves the merger of different sites. Most of the projects also implemented the CyberLab order entry and results viewer.

Managing these varied projects requires careful project management, and the MIPS team in the Netherlands uses appropriate elements from the proven PRINCE2 methodology, working closely with the customer to define and stick with the scope. “We keep open communication between our team and the customer’s team through a steering committee that includes – amongst others – a representative of their management, a project manager from the hospital, a senior MIPS project manager, and, usually, a lab specialist from the hospital. We can then manage the project proactively and collaboratively,” explains Wiggert Kalis, Customer Services Manager of MIPS. “We start by drawing up a blueprint document for the LIS project that ensures all aspects are clear and agreed. Then if, for example, we see that a decision will require additional time or resources, we consult the customer well in advance. This transparency ensures that what we deliver meets the customer’s expectations, for greater customer satisfaction.”

The project management skills of the MIPS team were successfully deployed to implement GLIMS and the CyberLab results viewer at the UMC in Groningen, which has about 1,000 laboratory staff (FTE). The LIS was installed in the centre’s 14 labs in two planned phases, while the CyberLab results viewer was integrated into the centre’s electronic patient record (EPR). The first phase went live in March 2014, with the second phase following in April 2016. The efficient transition has given the labs the tools they need to support their activities and future growth!

The February 2016 go-live of GLIMS and CyberLab at the Zuyderland Medical Centre in Heerlen offered its own challenges, as Zuyderland was still undergoing reorganisation during the time GLIMS was being implemented. This meant that a tailored project management approach had to be adopted, using elements from PRINCE2, in combination with the extensive experience of MIPS’s project manager. “I’m proud that we were able to accomplish this project in a little more than a year’s time, within scope and budget. I would like to direct a special word of appreciation to everyone involved in the Zuyderland MC Heerlen project,” highlights Cor Quist, Senior Project Manager, MIPS.

Each project is a learning experience for the proven MIPS team. “When we finalise a project, we evaluate it together with the customer, making an overview of what went as expected, what complications we ran into, improvements for the future, etc. This allows us to continually improve,” Wiggert concludes.