Laboratory Information Systems

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.

Oracle’s Plans for Cerner Might Increase Value of Lab Test Data

ONE MAJOR INFORMATICS PLAYER HAS AMBITIOUS PLANS that could make diagnostic data more accessible and, at the same time, more valuable for clinical laboratories. Oracle, the new owner of Cerner Corporation, is telling financial analysts that it wants to create a national repository of h…

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U.K.-based CliniSys Acquires Nashville-based ApolloLIMS

CONSOLIDATION IN THE CLINICAL LABORATORY INFORMATICS INDUSTRY took another step forward with the announcement that CliniSys (the parent of Sunquest Information Systems) was acquiring Nashville-based ApolloLIMS. This move may also further muddy the line between classic laborato…

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LIS Pioneer and Entrepreneur Sidney Goldblatt, MD, Dies at 87

IN THE 1970S, THE ARRIVAL OF AUTOMATED LAB ANALYZERS—such as the Technicon …

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LIS Market Will Change After Oracle, CliniSys Deals

CEO SUMMARY: With its purchase of Cerner Corporation, Oracle becomes the owner of Cerner’s Millennium laboratory information system (LIS) and CoPathPlus, Cerner’s anatomic pathology LIS. Only three weeks later, CliniSys, a division of Roper Technologies, announced it was acquiri…

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Oracle’s $28b Cerner Deal Shows Value of Health Data

CEO SUMMARY: For three decades, pathologists and clinical lab executives regularly pointed out that clinical laboratory data was extremely valuable. But it seemed nothing changed, no one listened, and labs could not monetize their lab data. Now, one of Silicon Valley’s bigger play…

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More LIS Consolidation as CliniSys Buys Horizon Lab

CEO SUMMARY: By acquiring Horizon Lab Systems, CliniSys has committed to moving some of its services beyond the clinical laboratory as Horizon sells into other lab markets, such as environmental management. Also, CliniSys will combine with Sunquest Information Systems,…

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Artificial Intelligence Is Ready to Deliver for Labs

CEO SUMMARY: Artificial intelligence (AI) may be one of the most over-used terms to describe a host of different applications, software tools, and products. However, during the past year, some truly revolutionary digital tools are now in use by a small number of innovative clinical laboratories…

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Pandemic Complicates Sales for Lab Info System Companies

HEALTHCARE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) COMPANIES serving clinical laboratories and providers with laboratory information systems (LISs) and electronic health records (EHRs) shared recent financial reports on their businesses.  It is challenging to obtai…

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LIS and Lab Informatics Vendors Report Second Quarter Earnings

IT’S BEEN A CHALLENGING YEAR for companies that sell laboratory information systems (LIS) to the nation’s clinical laboratories. Because of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, labs have delayed decisions to acquire or upgrade their existing LIS systems, as well as previously-scheduled installs of new o…

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Labs Should Heed Lessons from Huge Data Breach

CEO SUMMARY: Following news last month about the biggest breach of personal health information in the clinical lab industry, lawyers representing some of the affected patients filed at least 12 class action lawsuits. Federal officials and attorneys general in multiple states also launched…

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