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
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.
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.
CEO SUMMARY: Business intelligence is on the verge of becoming the next “big thing” in clinical laboratory management. Lab teams are using real-time data dashboards to quickly identify problems and take proactive steps to raise service levels to clients. South Bend Medical Foundation says these software systems and related tools are helping it raise the
CEO SUMMARY: At Clinical Laboratory Partners, the strategy is to create and deliver a growing suite of enhanced lab information services to client physicians and payers in the Connecticut market. It wants to differentiate itself from competing lab companies by packaging lab test data in ways that add value to both physicians and payers in
CEO SUMMARY: Health information exchanges (HIEs) are operating nationwide, but few handle lab test orders and results with ease the way HealthBridge does. This long-established HIE in Cincinnati, Ohio, allows physicians to send lab test orders from their electronic health record systems (EHRs) and to receive matched lab test results back in their EHRs. One
CEO SUMMARY: Clinical laboratories and pathology groups have a new tool to use for interfacing their LIS (laboratory information systems) with the electronic health record (EHR) systems of their office-based physician clients. It is ELINCS, an IT standard designed to support electronic lab test orders and lab test reporting. The California HealthCare Foundation sponsored the
CEO SUMMARY: In Macon, Georgia, an innovative effort by a regional extension center and a health information exchange (HIE) will level the playing field for hospital labs and independent labs in the state. Their goal is to build a secure and flexible clinical integration platform known as a “lab hub.” This common interface will allow
CEO SUMMARY: By sending lab test results and other data from the hospital’s electronic health record system to physicians’ smartphones, Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, New Jersey, is empowering physicians to manage patient care more efficiently. Today, few hospitals send information directly from the electronic health record (EHR) system to a smartphone (meaning an