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[Originally published in National Health Executive]

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust have rolled out a new blood test that cuts the average time spent waiting for results from around 10 days to just six minutes.

Such is the efficiency of the new antipsychotic blood test, clinicians can move data between devices in a timely manner, meaning results can be viewed in real-time, which ultimately facilitates quick decision-making processes.

Enabling health professionals to make rapid but clinically informed choices on a patient’s treatment pathway saves time and money – it is estimated the new process has the potential to reduce inpatient bed stays from three months to just three weeks.

Further speaking to the efficacy of the innovation, is the fact that getting results at the Point of Care, and not elsewhere, gives patients more ownership of their care as they feel more informed, engaged, and empowered – subsequently improving their overall health outcomes.

Stuart MacLellan, Chief Information Officer at South London and Maudsley said: “This new blood testing system has the potential to significantly reduce the length of inpatient stays. This is invaluable given the significant demand for NHS mental health services now.

“Not only does this test reduce pressure on services, it empowers patients, giving them more control around their care – ultimately improving outcomes. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this can have across the NHS, as it continues to benefit our organisation.”

Recent research has shown the significant financial, patient, and logistical benefits correlating to the adoption of this new technique – for example, under this new method, patients can be stabilised on clozapine in a much quicker timeframe, saving the NHS thousands of pounds and improving patients’ lives as well.