Lab leaders want their laboratory information system (LIS) to do more so the lab can do more. They may think a LIS replacement is in order. But think again.

Replacing a LIS is expensive, and a new one is likely not in budget for most providers. Also, bundling the LIS as part of the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) (think enterprise wide solution), may not be the right path either. That’s because LIS functionality may be quickly short-changed in areas such as inreach or outreach to physicians, workflow and overall lab competitiveness.

For most labs, operational and financial health improvements are within reach even as the LIS stays the same. But how is that possible?

Complementary technology solutions, such as those provided by Atlas Medical, allow leaders to move the lab forward as demands intensify.

This is the time for “emergence of the specialized lab software vendors” according to Lab Soft News.  In fact, ATLAS and its sister companies—Sunquest Information Systems Inc. and Data Innovations®—are named in the article as examples of vendors offering “highly specialized products” for the laboratory. “Pathology departments will always need to develop relationships with one or more specialized lab software vendors—both large and small–to provide lab and pathology software and functionalities not offered by their EHR vendor,” Bruce Friedman, of Lab Soft News, wrote.

Complementary technology to the LIS can enable a complete management of diagnostics, according to ATLAS leaders. “The future laboratory information system must go beyond basic order capture and results delivery.  Labs must engage more fully with diagnostic communities and provide greater value in a changing healthcare landscape. To do so, its systems must adapt,” said Michelle Del Guercio, vice president Marketing, Atlas Medical, in a Medical Lab Observer article capturing experts’ views on future LIS issues.

How an Adjunct System Adds Value to LIS

Integrating with other systems in the care continuum, along with developing clinical connectivity is a challenge for laboratories. Labs seek to maintain optimal business practices while they must adjust processes or workflow to adapt to new demands made upon the LIS. LISs today need to extend functionality outside the lab to connect with physician EMRs or send out labs. Even with a robust LIS, barriers exist including lack of advanced technology and support for the business of the lab, such as meeting the specific needs of customers, whether they are physicians, patients, or even other labs. This can lead to incomplete or inaccurate orders, inefficient processes, increase in write-offs due to duplicate tests, missing or inaccurate information and in some cases, a loss of business for the lab.

With the right adjunct system, such as ATLAS, the LIS perceived limits cease. LIS functionality can actually escalate, providing breadth of support for clinical testing and connectivity to systems, instruments and providers throughout the continuum of care.

Toward these goals, the ATLAS Coordinated Diagnostics® Platform offers labs diverse solutions, including: Physician Portal, PSC (Patient Service Center) Portal, Advanced EMR Connectivity and Multi-Lab Networking.

ATLAS solutions work in harmony with the LIS and enterprise system to help ensure what labs need now and into the future:

  • Advanced connectivity between labs and physician customers
  • Efficient and clean lab orders from any source
  • Support for multi-lab networks including centralized administration of joint test catalogs and networks
  • Flexible results reporting including multi-lab report consolidation
  • Improved patient outcomes, safety and cost savings.

Integrated solutions from ATLAS fill the gaps that may occur otherwise with a LIS, ensuring the lab receives cleaner, more accurate and complete orders, and delivers results back to the physician when and how they want them. The right integration solution ultimately ensures labs get paid for work performed.

The Right Partner is a Special Partner

ATLAS Platform solutions, successfully interfacing with the LIS and EHR, can enhance the lab’s workflow and ultimately its competitiveness and value in healthcare.

So, the LIS may not need to be replaced, but augmented. In today’s healthcare environment, it needs a highly specialized partner to make possible depth of features and deliver value now and into the future.

Questions for discussion:

What’s on the wish list for your LIS?

How can an adjunct system help your lab do more?