With no end in sight for the global pandemic, today may not seem like an ideal time to consider upgrading your Laboratory Information System (LIS). Yet in our lifetimes, there has never been a more critical need for labs to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Here are five ways an all-in-one platform can help you increase efficiency, solve manpower and budget challenges, grow your business, improve patient outcomes and more
1. Minimize obstacles that slow down results
In today’s clinical lab environment, your pathologists don’t have the time to log into three or more different systems and pull up data for the same patient several times over. A typical hospital lab uses three or four systems to manage patient care. These might include a Hospital Information System (HIS), a Laboratory Information System (LIS), a biobank system, and a pathology (Path) system. Even if these systems all have the same name on the screen, there’s a pretty good chance they’re not fully integrated. Each one is often a silo connected by an interface, or – at worst – a totally disparate (and often uncommunicative) system.
To further complicate things, these systems often run on different platforms or databases, making it nearly impossible to move data between them. A modern LIS should operate with one database, one point of login, and one system for your pathologists.
2. Reduce your costs and staff time
Every platform interface your lab uses must be maintained, and that takes time and money. It’s not unusual for a typical lab to pay four, six, or even more invoices every month to maintain all the interfaces they use. If these invoices go directly to a billing department, as a lab manager, you may not see them.
But you feel them every year at budget time. With an all-in-one system, you make just a single payment each month – a convenience which pays for itself quickly.
3. Streamline point-of-care (POC) testing
New reimbursement rules and a growing demand for faster turnaround times have made POC testing increasingly important. This is especially true in larger facilities where POC testing is done remotely or at several different locations.
It isn’t efficient or cost-effective for clinical labs to add yet another interface to enable this kind of workflow. A LIS with a built-in POC module is not just a better solution, it’s critical to an efficient lab operation.
4. Enable growth and flexibility
Say you want to expand into another testing line, such as genetics. If your current HIS or LIS doesn’t support this functionality, it may hold you back from expanding. At the very least you may be looking at a new vendor, another interface, and – yes – yet another monthly invoice.
It’s also worth considering whether your current platforms are flexible enough to allow your lab to grow. Can your vendor handle new lines of business, and accommodate increasing testing needs? Genetic testing, for example, has seen wide acceptance, and more and more labs are starting to offer these types of services. If your vendor can’t provide the appropriate workflow, the ability to diversify your lab’s capabilities may be limited.
5. Minimize downtime for updates
Updating most conventional LIS platforms is expensive, complicated, and time-consuming. If you have three or four different systems, you’re looking at the same number of updates – usually at different times.
In some of these systems downtime for updates can last a full day or even longer. Worse, in many cases your team is responsible for performing the updates, which takes them away from the lab work that drives your business.
One all-in-one platform to consider is Medical Suite, which maximizes your uptime and productivity by minimizing updates and downtime. There’s only one platform to upgrade, and your downtime is limited to about 30 minutes. In addition, the LabVantage team performs the upgrade for you, enabling your lab to stay focused on the work you do best.
Contact us today to learn more about how this integrated approach can save you time and money while improving your team’s access to data and patient outcomes.
LabVantage Medical Suite is a Laboratory Information System (LIS) that integrates all medical laboratory disciplines — from pathology and genomics to microbiology and other general lab functions — into a single platform.
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