So much has changed in the laboratory industry in the last few years. Thanks to the pandemic, many facilities have undergone major adjustments. But in many cases, those adjustments likely put those facilities in a better position to be able to handle higher volumes of testing and deal with a whole host of new testing scopes.
The industry took a sharp turn into introducing new concepts, preparing for more and different testing, and expanding operations to accommodate demands.
One thing that plays a significant role in these changes is the LIS system, or the Laboratory Information System. Every lab should have a high-quality system capable of expanding to demand, receiving electronic orders, and maneuvering through the different steps or needs of the lab.
The Value of a Functional LIS System
Your LIS system is the ultimate operational piece to keep the laboratory running smoothly. Think of it as a workflow tool that separates different types of testing, portions out orders, and even allows ordering and results. It all happens in one place when you utilize the right systems.
An LIS system can also be integrated with devices and tools to allow reviewing and processing within the same system. This can be applied to molecular, clinical, and AP testing as needed.
The best systems provide portals for the medical professionals, the clinicians, the lab itself, and the patients in order to access and review what the details bring back.
And finally, integration with the billing cycle also contributes a positive force to the revenue cycle management of the lab as well.
What to Look for in a LIS System
The thing is, there are so many different systems out there. Some of them are great, some of them promise to be great only to disappoint, and others are lackluster to begin with. They come in different budget ranges and selections. It’s up to the facilities to choose what works and then integrate as needed.
So how do you choose? You certainly want to be able to format the system to specifically meet the needs of your laboratory. This should be easy to set up, or have provisional assistance from the company to help get you going. Performance, scalability, and availability are all vital details to consider. Don’t forget to glance at the dashboard and user interface to ensure it’s going to be easy to operate.
Look for the ability to customize specifications like:
- Inputting test types as needed and assigning the appropriate codes
- Setting up designated workflows with step-by-step technical details and professional splits
- Configuration of functions, screens, and details for individual workflows that accommodate review, QC, data, results, and batching
- Compilation of data components for individual cases, batch reviews, etc.
- Designate results to load and display results when integrated
Ultimately, you need to be able to work between different case types, establish every necessary workflow, move between necessary screens, review and input date, and view results on a single interface.
Prepare for the Future with Your LIS System
Details like those shared above are what will establish an LIS system that is prepared to work through the future. With systems like these that are properly configured and established, you can handle whatever type of changes or expansion the market requires, even at a moment’s notice.
On top of the system interface itself, you want to support multiple lab options if necessary, including multiple facilities that integrate together. You also want to ensure that you can manage all types of specimens, segment varying data, produce the necessary reporting, and provide a user-friendly interface for patients in their report or portal as well.
If any of these things are lacking, your LIS system may not be ready for the future. You may need to continue your search. A system built for the future needs of any laboratory will allow quick expansion and provide intuitive solutions for every type of lab need.