Lab Organization Software
November 20, 2023
With the scope of workload, from samples and their safekeeping to testing and result reporting, manual clinical laboratory data processing is susceptible to mistakes and mishandling. To avoid any possibility of errors, modern labs are turning towards technology and cutting-edge laboratory management software to ensure fast and efficient workflows within the lab. This article will cover the basics of medical laboratory management and the features that a medical lab software should possess. It will also outline the benefits of using such software.
Management of a Medical Laboratory
Managing laboratory records is an integral part of all laboratories, no matter the testing discipline. A lab technician has multiple time-consuming tasks to perform, such as preparing samples and processing them. These extensive processes are prone to human error, with consequences for effectiveness, productivity, and safety. Medical lab software comes in handy for each of these steps.
Aside from just conducting sample analysis, laboratory employees need to effectively manage their time, efforts, costs, and equipment usage.
Today, many labs use LIS and LIMS systems as lab manager software. LIS (laboratory information systems) is software focused on the specimen test results and the laboratory reports, while LIMS (laboratory information management software) helps with the handling and managing of batch samples in non-clinical laboratory environments (food manufacturing, pharmaceutical, etc.).
The type of system used mostly depends on the type of laboratory and its need for specimen management software. Overall, though, medical laboratory management systems contain at least some aspects that are needed for every laboratory, no matter what it specializes in.
What is a Medical Lab Management Software?
LIMS is software used in labs for storing, processing, and reporting on a large number of samples. With the help of laboratory data management software, labs can partly automate their workflow, manage samples, and neatly keep records while also integrating instruments and making sure that they all work properly.
The work process of laboratories can be divided into five main steps:
- Sample preparation and logging them into the system
- Assigning, scheduling, and tracking the samples through the process of analysis
- Actual processing guided by quality control measures at every stage
- Analysis and storage of raw data
- Inspection, approval, and generation of reports for the client, the patient, and further analysis
Each of these steps further contains detailed step-by-step processes. Pathology software is designed to comply with and improve all of them. The next sections will go into more detail.
Laboratory software helps labs with sample intake procedures, safekeeping of the samples in the right conditions, storage, organized tracking, data quality, and sample notifications at each stage of the workflow.
Specimen tracking software ensures that each sample goes through the analysis process without being mishandled, contaminated, or mislabeled. With it, labs can be sure that they have quality clinical laboratory records that comply with all medical regulations.
Team and Instruments Management
Apart from lab specimen management, medical laboratory software can track and audit instruments to ensure their correct and efficient usage, inform on certain dysfunctionality, or keep track of storage.
Another great feature of medical lab software is its ability to ensure efficient workflow by calculating timeframes and the use of resources, allowing lab technicians to productively direct their efforts.
Reports and Analysis
Aside from laboratory sample management, analysis of samples and reliable results are the bedrock of every laboratory. A LIMS or LIS system in labs, aided by specimen tracking software, can make sure that all the information from the tests is organized, analyzed into a comprehensive report, and properly shared among stakeholders.
Data Storage and Sharing
The next big aspect that a LIS or LIMS laboratory software helps with is the ability to organize a lab’s storage capabilities. An example of this is always knowing where and in what stage of the process a specimen is, and then being able to share this data instantly.
Compliance with Regulations
A LIS or LIMS system ensures that laboratory data and handling meets regulatory requirements. This helps laboratory technicians focus on the process by confidently knowing that all safety measures are being addressed and met.
Overall, a LIS or LIMS laboratory system helps with accuracy, efficiency, management, and compliance.
Benefits of Medical Lab Management Software
The best lab management software offers a range of benefits to the medical lab. These include:
- Accurate records of lab specimens, their storage, and pending processes
- Information about storage, expiration dates, and proper handling
- Keeping track of lab inventory, equipment, and timeframes
- Automation of processes, workflows, and workforce allocation
- Accurate reporting of sample analysis
- Assistance with pending tasks and next steps of the process
- Secure and interoperable
- Efficiently sharing results and reports with others (clients, patients, and other healthcare institutions, etc.)
Clinical Lab Software with Billing Integration
Another integral part of clinical lab work is the organization of the billing process. With that in mind, many LIS and LIMS pathology software have billing integration within their features. Laboratory billing consists of charges, collections, CPT codes, insurance, denials, claims, and more. Laboratory billing software turns what used to be a tedious task involving math, accounting, and coding into an automated process with minimal miscalculations. A laboratory billing software allows for the adding, removing, and editing of components based on the lab’s revenue cycle management (RCM) needs.
With an easy-to-navigate interface, laboratory LIS and LIMS systems with integrated billing offer laboratory executives the opportunity to see a complete financial picture accompanied by metrics, graphics, and statistics. Furthermore, these pathology lab software financial details are available in real-time, making it easy for the management team to navigate through operations and easily locate aspects or areas in need of improvement.
Final Thoughts on Laboratory Data Management Systems
With all of their pathology lab software features, LIS and LIMS systems allow laboratories to oversee, navigate, and allocate their workload, processes, reports, and finances. A lab organization software can help with sample management, team and instruments management, reports and analysis, data storage, and sharing. Furthermore, the new LIS and LIMS systems have integrated compliance and regulations features, as well as a billing system software solutions. With that, the lab’s employees can focus more on the tasks they are skilled at, being confident that every step of the analysis is supported by a modern and comprehensive software system.