The most important commodity for a lab is its samples! Samples getting misplaced, or mislabeled can be disastrous. Continuous awareness of the location and status of a sample, in accordance with compliance, regulatory, and security requirements, is instrumental in the smooth running of a lab. Keeping a track of all specimens manually however is not an easy job, irrespective of the size or function of the lab since it is time-consuming, human resource-intensive, and prone to errors. The efficiency and methodology used to track specimens is a direct indicator of a lab’s turnaround time (TAT), which in turn determines its resource consumption and revenue production.
The surge in demand for screening and diagnostic tests of late, and that too at short turnaround times, means that every part of the specimen-processing sequence should be working optimally. These realities necessitate a fundamental shift in the way labs conduct their business. The answer is a modern, up-to-date Lab Information System (LIS). Indeed an electronic workflow LIS has now become a base requirement for the lab managers and owners to deploy in their organizations, rather than an option.
Lab Information System Software of Today
The lab business model must be revamped along the lines of digitization and automation. At the heart of this change is a dynamic medical lab information system that is internet-ready, launchable via local server, or cloud-based. It should be based on an open architecture and supported by powerful engines. It should be able to seamlessly integrate various lab modules, automate various complex processes, and must be robustly interoperable. LigoLab Lab Information System (LIS) & Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) is a web-based, scalable, enterprise-level software solution that ticks all these boxes.
Specimen Tracking System – A Crucial Part of the LIS
Tracking of specimens is a fundamental component of the entire lab cycle, and hence a capable Lab Management System must have an innovative, all-encompassing specimen tracking system. It should come into play with patient registration and sample acquisition. It follows through the whole procedure of sample processing in the lab, and also includes the critical steps of report generation and dispatch to patient, caregiver, insurer, and public health authorities. How can this all be achieved? The answer lies in barcoding.
In 2021, barcoded samples should be a must-have for all LIS Lab Management Systems. Of particular benefit is the use of Quick Response (QR) codes. Equipped with the ability to link with various web-based information systems, QR codes should be part of a lab manager’s baseline expectations from a medical software company. When it comes to smooth operations and functionality, the best Lab Information System Software portals that feature electronic workflow architecture along with QR coding options, allow for significantly more degree of automation than manual or paper records or other alternatives.
TestDirectly Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Portal System, is a good example of a Lab Information System Software add-on which is not only based on electronic workflow, but also has a track record of streamlining specimen tracking. It leads to improved turnaround times by allowing patient online self-registration, assigning individual QR codes linked to patient’s sample, facilitating multi-channel report delivery, and ironing out billing and claims. The point of care dispensing industry (led by BRP) is similarly complex.
Laboratories running on QR-barcode enabled specimen tracking systems embedded within updated, electronic LIS Laboratory Information System Software are:
- More efficient for a lab’s turnaround time (TAT), managing human resource, and reducing the cost of conducting business
- Less prone to errors linked with manual processes, saving time, and leading to better health outcomes and revenue
- Key to promoting a professional image of the lab amongst its clientele
It is a reality that the economic outlook today is more challenging than ever before. However, the winning mindset is to be able to look at it as an opportunity to improve how systems perform, for best outcomes of clients, and better revenue potential for labs.
Health in America is moving towards a care-based model. The providence of leveraging the powerful features of the latest laboratory information system software along with affordable ways to implement upgrades is within reach today. The ones who seize the initiative of shifting their business model today will be the real winners of tomorrow.