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Laboratory Management: Find Out How Experts in the Field are Utilizing Best Practices to Thrive

What’s the point of laboratory information system solutions and best practices if you don’t share them with others?

At LigoLab, we’ve been helping Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Laboratory, and Molecular Pathology laboratories grow and thrive since 2006. Over the past 14 years, we’ve collaborated with some of the most dynamic and forward-thinking laboratories in the country, and over that time we’ve gained an expertise in the laboratory management software domain.

We maintain regular contact with our partner labs and we take great pride in the fact that our platform continues to evolve daily, helping them deliver new and better ways to serve their customers and support patient care. In turn, these same labs are constantly evaluating their own workflows and processes. Nothing is static. 

This blog post is the second in a series of three posts that will highlight the challenges labs continue to face, plus the best LIS solutions these labs have deployed to better serve their customers and grow their businesses. 

If you missed the first post, click on the link below. The third post in this series will be published later this month.

Laboratory Management: 2020 Guide, Part 1: What Recent Changes Incorporated into Your Laboratory’s Workflow have Made the Biggest Difference in Terms of Efficiency and Throughput?

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A few weeks back, we asked our partner labs to highlight recent changes in laboratory workflow that have made the biggest difference in terms of efficiency and production.

Today, we focus on the issues these labs continue to face in 2020, plus we examine how the labs measure production and identify inefficiencies.

Jacie R. (LIS Administrator - Baton Rouge, LA) 

What are your challenges, frustrations, obstacles? It is a challenge to bring on new ideas when our pathology department is short-staffed. Validation of new antibodies, equipment, and digital pathology is very time-consuming for our pathologists.

How do you measure production and identify inefficiencies? LigoLab reports are crucial in measuring employee performance. Productivity reports can be generated allowing managers to compare all employees for each task. We use these for end-of-year evaluations and to identify inefficiencies in our workflow or of certain employees.

Pam E. (Billing Analyst - Pensacola, FL) 

What are your challenges, frustrations, obstacles? Interfacing with one of our hospitals is a big challenge. Unfortunately, our hands are tied with the IT department at this hospital.

How do you measure production and identify inefficiencies? We pull data from the LigoLab platform to track the efficiency of our employees and physicians.

Stacey G. (Project Director - San Antonio, TX) 

What are your challenges, frustrations, obstacles? Our biggest challenges are insurance groups with “preferred laboratories,” and getting the word out to the public about the innovative testing that’s being performed within OUR laboratory.

How do you measure production and identify inefficiencies? Through error tracking, daily/weekly/monthly volume monitoring, employee overtime, and quality measures.

Steve F. (LIS Administrator - Santa Fe Springs, CA)

What are your challenges, frustrations, obstacles? California laws for smaller medical laboratories are holding our operation back. 

How do you measure production and identify inefficiencies? The flexibility of the platform gives us the nimbleness we need to compete in our marketplace, reporting functionality and distribution is robust and allows us to drive value for our clients and sustain high retention of business.

Shamim A. (LIS Administrator- San Diego, CA)

What are your challenges, frustrations, obstacles? The biggest thing holding our lab back is the fact that we use two different systems to process all of our work. We utilize one system for work received from a particular regional health system, and LigoLab for the rest of our business when it’s applicable. We are currently not able to interface directly with this health system to make all of our workflow processes smooth and simple.

How do you measure production and identify inefficiencies? Production and inefficiencies are mostly identified on a case-by-case basis when examining workflows and places where potential problems may arise. Unless something is brought up directly, it's mostly through a review that we identify problems and work to correct them. The majority of the time it's a matter of simplifying an existing process for ease of use.

Darlene S. (Project Manager - Tampa, FL)

What are your challenges, frustrations, obstacles? Regulatory compliance is slow and payments from third-party payers are very challenging. Consequently, it’s hard for us to obtain the sufficient funds needed for adequate investment into capital infrastructure and skilled personnel.

How do you measure production and identify inefficiencies? Standard measures and key performance indicators. These include P/L statements, volume measurements, turnaround time, and the response from clients. 

Roxane R. (Chief Administrative Officer - Baton Rouge, LA)

What are your challenges, frustrations, obstacles? Our biggest challenge recently has been the need to hire enough pathologists to keep up with our business. Over the last year or so, we’ve had a few people retire so we’ve been actively recruiting and hiring to build back up to where we need to be. 

How do you measure production and identify inefficiencies? In the histology lab, this is measured by the number of specimens logged in and the number of blocks and slides produced per day. For pathologists reading histology cases - a daily manual system is in place to help evenly distribute the workload by RVUs. RVUs are then periodically pulled from our separate RCM system and reviewed retrospectively.

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If you’re a lab operator and would like to participate in a future study, reach me directly at michaelk@LigoLab.com. We’d enjoy hearing from you and getting your perspective, too. 

Our next post will focus on laboratory digital pathology support. 

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LigoLab Information System is the leading provider of an innovative laboratory management software solution that meets the diverse needs of Molecular, Clinical, and Anatomic Pathology laboratories nationwide, driving efficiency, performance, and growth.

Contact us here to schedule a demonstration and experience how a fully integrated LIS & RCM can unite and transform your lab’s financial, administrative, and technical operations.

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