How LigoLab LIS Supports Lab Report Customization and Client Preferences
March 14, 2022
Note: The LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Operating Platform supports all forms of medical laboratory report templates (Anatomic Pathology, Molecular, Clinical, Specialty). In this article, we focus on pathology report templates.
For molecular and clinical laboratories, as well as anatomic pathology groups, having a modern and flexible laboratory information system (LIS) that can adapt as a lab’s business grows and changes is essential. Traditional, on-premise solutions are often far too rigid for today’s agile-minded lab managers, and that’s why, every day, more labs are trading in their legacy systems for cloud-based all-in-one solutions like LigoLab’s award-winning LIS & RCM Laboratory Operating Platform.
With the LigoLab platform serving as the focal point for all technical, financial, and administrative operations within the laboratory, lab managers can replace their inefficient legacy LIS with a system that is both comprehensive and infinitely configurable, and one that features many other desirable attributes. The list includes a supporting module for specimen barcoding and tracking, a robust and searchable audit trail, compliance verification at every stage, a built-in proprietary interface engine that maximizes interoperability with instruments, electronic health records (EHRs) and any third-party service, and flexible engines for rules and automation that simplify workflows, limit the need for manual steps, and reduce the potential for human error.
Going further, LigoLab’s comprehensive bundle of features and functionality also includes unlimited lab report customization capability. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how the platform’s report-building template engine helps create market differentiation while also enabling labs to satisfy the unique needs of their customers and patients.
(CLICK HERE for a close-up look at surgical lab report samples configured within LigoLab LIS).
The Importance of Flexible LIS Reporting
LIS reporting tools are critical for meeting operational and regulatory standards. They also play a significant role when it comes to client expectations. Reporting tools have improved significantly over the years and the best LIS system vendors provide lab managers with professional-looking lab reports that they can manage without external help, and that can be easily distributed to their customers through multiple delivery channels.
“At LigoLab, we have prioritized lab reports from day one,” said LigoLab CEO Suren Avunjian. “We’ve equipped LigoLab LIS with a super powerful report-building template engine that puts the laboratory in control, giving our customers fully customizable lab reports that they can build and manage themselves.”
LigoLab users enjoy lab reports with uniform presentation and rule-based formatting that’s template-driven. The report-building template engine supports pixel-level accuracy, full-color and rich text, plus images, diagrams, annotations, macros, and voice dictation (speech-to-text). All of these elements are licensed and pre-loaded into a system that also supports the building of conditional rules to satisfy specific client preferences.
Every part of the lab report can be customized with LigoLab (including the patient info header, logos, diagnosis, comments, history, microscopic findings, and gross description) and then generated into multiple formats for distribution through multiple delivery channels (including provider portal, outreach software, EMR/EHR, fax, secure email, in-house printing, PDF drops, APIs, IVR, SMS, and remote print server).
We very rarely find ourselves having to make enhancements to the report-building engine to accommodate the needs of a laboratory,” said Tony Oganesian, LigoLab’s Chief Technology Officer. “With the robust report-building template engine, the lab can customize how reports look, how they flow, and how they are formatted. They can choose what types of attachments or embedded information is used, and how the reports are presented to the client.”
LigoLab Harnesses the Power of Dual Reporting Engines
So how is the LigoLab platform able to support 100 percent configurable lab reports?
According to Oganesian, this level of customization is made possible by two sub engines working in tandem.
“One engine is responsible for the outer layer of the lab report and covers elements like headers, footers, pagination, and company logos,” said Oganesian, who also serves as the company’s Managing Partner. “We call these elements report templates. Additionally, this engine supports the breaking down of the test results into multiple reports per the client’s preferences.”
Oganesian also noted that the system includes a second engine that’s responsible for a separate set of templates called result templates. The result templates drive the content and are responsible for how lab findings are presented inside the lab report.
“With our system, you can present findings by mixing and matching these report and result templates,” continued Oganesian.
Most doctors have unique preferences and the best labs equipped with capable LIS systems can cater to this. By doing so, they can rise above the competitors in terms of the service they can provide their clients. These services include co-branding opportunities, unique layouts per customer, and report delivery methods as requested by the client. All of these features need to only be set up just ONE time, and from then on, the system automatically recognizes and supports the preferences.
“Some doctors prefer to have every result in one report, and others prefer to split up pathology reports, clinical reports, and molecular reports into different documents and then have them finalized separately. Our system allows you to manage these preferences,” said Oganesian.
For labs that want to combine flexibility with standardization, LigoLab also offers synoptic reporting support through an integration with the College of American Pathologists (CAP). With CAP’s Cancer Reporting Templates the pathologist no longer needs to type or dictate the raw text. Instead, he or she can make guided choices and answer required or optional questions that ultimately generate a standardized boilerplate text. All of the necessary elements are included within the boilerplate text and the templates are updated regularly by CAP.
LigoLab’s self-service report-building engine and its flexible report and result templates are very attractive for labs that have grown tired of the long delays and hidden costs that are usually associated with any new configuration of an old legacy LIS system. With LigoLab, lab managers are trained to do the configurations themselves, and if they need assistance, the LigoLab support team is there to lend a hand.
Customer Support is a Top Priority
If a lab manager wants help with the configuration of a lab report, that help is only one support ticket away with LigoLab.
“We view our lab customers as partners,” said Oganesian. “We're not just licensing them our software and then forgetting about them. Instead, we ensure that our lab partners have the software and the level of service they need to grow, and that includes building custom lab reports and templates for them as needed.”
With this level of customization available, there is a bit of a learning curve. That’s why LigoLab has prioritized the support and training department and staffed it accordingly.
“Usually what we recommend is for our new customers to work with our support department and utilize the wide array of pre-built templates that have been loaded into the platform,” said Oganesian. “From there the templates can be customized and branded to get the desired look and feel. Over time, as users become more familiar with the platform, our support is no longer needed and these customizations become completely self-service from within the lab.”
With LigoLab you get the best of both worlds, fully customizable lab reports and responsive and helpful support from an experienced staff of engineers.
“We don’t put this complexity on our lab partners to figure out during implementation,” said Oganesian, while referring to the unlimited configuration possibilities that exist within the software. “Instead, we either present our lab partners with a wide variety of existing templates or define what reporting outcomes they desire for our implementation team to build. Then we use our tools to give them the most maintainable report going forward and the most intuitive set of templates to work with. We’ve built this level of flexibility into the software so we, the support team, can provide this service during validation and before go-live, thereby ensuring that the right template comes up for the right client.”
After a LigoLab user gains confidence and a comfort level with the platform, configurations can be done without assistance and IT expertise. Compare that with other systems where special IT skills are required and report template changes can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take weeks to months to complete.
“Although this idea might seem overwhelming at first for a new user, in time it becomes a really appreciated aspect of our software,” added Avunjian. “Our clients simply love this flexibility and control. The report-building template engine is intuitive and doesn’t require any special IT skills. Template changes are free and immediate.”
LigoLab is an award-winning provider of innovative end-to-end healthcare software for pathology laboratories, servicing 150+ facilities nationwide. As a comprehensive enterprise-grade solution, the LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Operating Platform™ includes modules for anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, molecular diagnostics, revenue cycle management, and direct-to-consumer, all on one powerful and integrated platform that supports every role, every department, and every case. LigoLab empowers laboratories to better serve patients, differentiate themselves in the marketplace, scale their operations, become more compliant, and more profitable.