CEO SUMMARY: By now, most pathologists and clinical laboratory administrators recognize that effective use of information technology will be a critical success factor as healthcare systems transform to do population health management and to use “big data” with value-based payment models. As the provider of laboratory information systems to hundreds of the nation’s major hospitals,
Laboratory Information SystemsSkip to articles
A laboratory information system, or LIS, is a software program that provides all the basic functionality needed for a clinical laboratory, whether that laboratory is hospital-based or a standalone commercial laboratory facility. Various components of the LIS will handle patient check-in, order entry, results entry, physician and patient demographics, specimen processing, and have some level of reporting ability.
Legacy laboratory information systems are typically homegrown, that is, they were developed within the organization 20 or 30 years ago, or were purchased ”off the shelf.” Homegrown systems and legacy systems often have problems with connectivity, scalability and flexibility, especially as technology changes within the laboratory and healthcare industry. Off-the-shelf products often force laboratories to modify their workflow to adapt to the LIS, rather than the other way around. Also, numerous LIS vendors have gone out of business or shifted their focus to other areas in the last two decades. Often legacy LISes utilize multiple databases, which create a great deal of difficulty with database interfaces and data synchronization.
Newer LISes are increasingly able to offer what laboratories need: modular-based systems with customizable functionality, scalability and a high level of adaptable connectivity for both institutional electronic medical records (EMRs) and physician access. Laboratories also require a LIS to to interface with the laboratory’s instrumentation, which allows patient results to be directly entered into the database and then into the EMR; Web-based order entry/result inquiry; and workload balancing. The LIS often has non-clinical functionality such as workflow monitoring and billing services.
In addition, these systems need to be customizable, be able to effectively and easily interface with both the institution’s electronic health record, the laboratory’s automated equipment, and provide Web-based access for physicians.
The environment for health information technology, specifically LISes, requires adherence to a number of national and international standards including CLIA, CCHIT, ANSI, HL7, HITSP, and LOINC.
CEO SUMMARY: Partners HealthCare of Boston, Massachusetts, is creating a single informatics platform for CP and AP across all six of the hospitals that it operates. It will replace 19 different pathology systems currently used at six sites with just seven integrated pathology systems. As this happens, the anatomic pathology and clinical pathology systems will
CEO SUMMARY: Every clinical lab today must deal with the twin challenges of performing an increased volume of tests while being paid less money. That’s why a handful of innovative lab organizations now use management information systems with analytics that provide detailed, real-time metrics on all aspects of their lab’s business and operations. Instead of
CEO SUMMARY: On December 6, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed to delay implementation of Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 until 2016. One reason is that only about 80 vendors have certified their products to MU Stage 2. That is a small proportion of the almost 900 vendors who hold MU Stage 1
CEO SUMMARY: One trend getting little publicity is that of health information exchanges (HIEs). Since its founding in 2009, the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) has grown steadily. Today, most of the state’s independent lab companies and hospital laboratories are connected to CORHIO. Real-time access to laboratory test data is one feature that has
CEO SUMMARY: In Portland, Oregon, Legacy Laboratory Services, a division of Legacy Health, continues to post strong volume growth. One driver supporting this growth is the lab’s ability to implement connections between its laboratory information system (LIS) and the electronic health record (EHR) systems of its office-based physician clients. Further, the lab’s strategy is to
CEO SUMMARY: Hospitals may soon insist that payers allow their in-house labs to provide outpatient testing regardless of exclusive managed care contracts with national lab companies. The migration to accountable care organizations (ACOs) and medical homes makes it essential that physicians have access to lab data across the entire continuum of care. Standardization of reporting
THERE IS A NEW PLAYER in the market for anatomic pathology laboratory information systems (APLIS). This gives pathology groups a new option when it is time to upgrade or replace their existing APLIS.
It also brings a new competitor into the existing market for anatomic pathology (AP) software. In recent years, the dominant players in that
CEO SUMMARY: Labs today are finding ways to send actionable information to referring physicians. The laboratory at MedCentral Health System in Ohio uses electronic alerts to inform clinicians about test results that may be significant. One alert helped the lab cut length of stay for patients by 1.5 days and saved $300,000. Another test identifies
CEO SUMMARY: In Houston, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System has put together a health information exchange (HIE) to serve the Houston market. By design, this HIE not only gives physicians immediate access to a wide variety of patient data, but also supports the type of workflow required for Memorial Hermann’s new accountable care organization to succeed.