In a laboratory setting, it’s vital to have the information and data that you need at your fingertips. Medical laboratories focus hard to work through health issues that can often be complex and challenging. From day to day, these work areas collect tissues, prepare microscope slides, manage and examine samples, notate findings, and work through results.
While this breaks it down into simple steps, it’s really a long, drawn-out process from one step to another. To be effective with the work at hand, it is pertinent to be precise and efficient throughout the process.
That’s where a reliable LIS, or laboratory information system, is vital. These systems contribute to an automated process, but won’t take away from your precision through every stage of the process. In fact, it might even increase your quality and tracking.
What Is a Laboratory Information System?
A laboratory information system, also referred to as LIS, is a system that is specially designed to help manage a medical laboratory workflow structure. When it comes to medical laboratory fields, you typically have either anatomic pathology or clinical pathology available.
Regardless of which pathology segment you are in, you need a system tailored to that segment. While many of the workflows are similar between the two, there are distinct differences that simply don’t overlap. When you use the wrong type of LIS, it doesn’t benefit you in the same ways within the lab.
The subtle differences from working with hormones, chemicals, and bodily fluids in clinicals to working with organ samples or diseases in anatomic pathology make a huge difference in laboratory information systems. Your system should cater to that segment from the collection of specimens to tracking and reports.
It is also noteworthy when an LIS can integrate into other medical management systems for your facility, such as a hospital.
Systems Built for the Right Path
Clinical and anatomic laboratory information systems have designated paths to follow, and they should be designed for varying personnel for that same reason. These medical fields are looking at different specimens and working to determine far different data.
In the anatomical pathology path, these scans are most often used for pathologists to determine diseases or make diagnoses. These come from specialized MDs in the field in most cases.
A medical authority using the system shouldn’t have to search through tabs and piles not meant for them. Instead, they need quick and simple solutions to enter the specimen tracking information, generate reports, review quality and readings, generate appropriate barcodes or labels, and even scan in their documents.
With the best laboratory information systems, medical providers now have the ability to integrate slides, scans, and microscopes into their interface for total efficiency. The beauty of it is the ability to configure your software to best meet the needs of your facility.
In the end, when you have a properly configured LIS for your path, you can greatly improve workflows across the board, and potentially improve quality as well.
Optimization of Data Management Through Laboratory Information Systems
These fields are constantly changing. There are massive amounts of data inputted and reviewed from day to day. In essence, these systems will be available through every step of workflow from tracking to reports to specimen results and data as well.
With digitalization, you are far less likely to experience data entry errors or other quality control issues.
Optimization comes from these details.
With an integrative system, communication between departments is quicker and easier. The labs process requests and results, uploading the data on their end. Physicians and professionals requesting the testing can then access those reports for a total report and evaluation of the lab results.
The reporting between all facilities and departments is seamless and simple.
- Access to Data
When labs and physicians aren’t even in the same facility, accessing data can be a nightmare. But the ability to integrate platforms gives all users access to the data that they need to make things happen.
No lab is going to operate the exact same way as another lab. This is why laboratory information systems should be configured to work according to the specific needs of your facility. And when you use quality systems, this should never be an issue.
Whether the lab is a single site, multi-site, or even multi-facility, the software can be flexible to meet their demands and their needs. However, the one detail to pay attention to is whether or not they can configure the software to work for separate functions, such as clinical or anatomic pathology.
With the right flexibility and setup, any lab should be able to experience smoother processes, improved workflows, and increased revenues.
Put Laboratory Information Systems to Work
No matter what the lab setup is like in your facility, using a laboratory information system that caters to your needs is vital for success. As software providers continue to improve in this field, it may be necessary to adapt or change for a more integrated and reliable approach.
When your processes have the capability of being automated, you improve efficiency, accuracy, and overall processing through a simple approach.