LigoLab’s Essential Tier: LIS Software Designed to Meet a Lab’s Basic Needs
September 5, 2023
A common frustration among medical lab operators is the lack of a laboratory information system (LIS) in the market that fits their unique needs, workflows, and growth plans. Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all mentality prevails throughout the industry, leaving independent clinical labs and pathology groups with few LIS choices that can not only deliver maximum value now but also serve as a catalyst for future growth.
This is a tall order for most laboratory information system companies, but not all. Some, like LigoLab Information Systems, have developed flexible LIS software solutions that can be configured to fit the reality of today while also offering labs the desired flexibility to scale up as their needs evolve.
This is an important consideration, especially for smaller labs and startups that may have limited budgets. A one-size-fits-all model certainly doesn’t work for them, and the last thing they want to do is select a simplified lab information system that becomes a barrier to growth in a year or two, necessitating the egregious process of selecting another LIS vendor and going through another LIS implementation.
That’s where the LigoLab platform excels. It tailors its LIS system with features and functionality that optimize efficiency and enhance decision-making to benefit the smaller lab at present while also providing a foundation and a clear roadmap for development and scalability.
At this stage, smaller labs shouldn’t have to pay for the enterprise version of laboratory information system software when what they truly need is an essential package that includes fundamental features such as order entry, result entry, basic reporting, and workflow management.
To accommodate a case like this, LigoLab has developed a four-level tiered pricing model that includes the Essential Tier, the Professional Tier, the Advanced Tier, and the Enterprise Tier. Imagine with one switch of a button being able to change your regular car into a SUV or an 18-wheeler. That’s what it’s like when a LigoLab partner lab grows to the point that it’s ready to upgrade from the Essential Tier to the Professional Tier.
LigoLab’s LIS Solution for Small Pathology, Molecular, and Reference Laboratory Workflow
LigoLab’s Essential Tier is designed to meet the basic needs of laboratories and compares favorably with other simple laboratory information systems in the market. The major difference, of course, is the fact that labs that partner with LigoLab can start with the Essential Tier and then move into a higher tier and implement the desired configurations and modules at any time, all without having to invest in a whole new LIS and going through another implementation.
Here’s a more detailed look at what’s included in LigoLab’s Essential Tier.
The Order Entry module facilitates the efficient and accurate entry of test orders into the LIS system, thereby reducing manual touchpoints, minimizing errors, and enhancing overall laboratory efficiency at the pre-analytic stage.
Here are the key features included in this module:
- Demographics Capture: The module enables the seamless capture and verification of patient demographic information, all of which is crucial for ensuring accurate coding, billing, and testing.
- Test Selection: The module prompts users to easily assign tests for each patient specimen.
- Integration with Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Systems: The module connects with external EMR systems, enabling the automatic transfer of data and a reduction of manual entry errors.
- Insurance and Billing Information: The module captures and validates insurance and billing information during order entry, facilitating a smooth revenue cycle management process.
- Barcoded Specimen Tracking: The module generates barcode labels for each specimen, enabling efficient real-time tracking throughout the testing process.
- Customizable Order Entry Workflow: The module allows labs to tailor the workflow to match their unique requirements and supports ask-at-order-entry (AOE) questions, ensuring maximum operational efficiency at the earliest stage of testing.
By integrating the order entry process with the rest of the lab's operations, LigoLab ensures a seamless, error-free, and efficient flow from order entry to result delivery, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and lab productivity.
The Order Entry and Workflow modules utilize a robust Label Generation feature that offers total visibility and control over specimens by producing unique ID assignments for each specimen or label generated for documents, helping operators effectively monitor and manage every specimen and document from initial entry to result delivery.
The Label Generation process begins in the Order Entry module. After a new test order is entered, the LIS automatically generates a unique identifier for each specimen related to that order. This unique ID is crucial for maintaining accurate tracking and minimizing errors in the subsequent stages of the testing workflow.
These unique identifiers are then used to generate barcode labels for each specimen. The generated labels then provide a visual and scannable representation of the unique ID, enabling easy and accurate tracking as the specimen moves through the laboratory's various workflows.
A key attribute of the Label Generation feature is its full configurability. Administrators can customize the design and layout of the label templates to meet their specific requirements, including certain details, barcode formatting, and label dimensions.
Working specifically with Zebra label printers in their native ZPL (Zebra Programming Language), LigoLab ensures accurate and high-quality label printing without drivers. This compatibility and focus on a leading brand in label printing technology underscores LigoLab's commitment to providing laboratories with tools and features that offer the highest level of performance and reliability.
The combination of unique ID assignment, barcoded labels, customizability, and quality printing ensures that each specimen within the LigoLab platform is accurately and efficiently managed, contributing significantly to the integrity of the overall lab operation.
The Basic Gross Entry Capture module is designed to streamline and standardize the process of specimen grossing in anatomic pathology laboratories. The module provides a straightforward and intuitive interface for grossing technologists to record critical information about the specimens they are processing.
Technologists can enter relevant data upon receiving a specimen, including specimen type, dimensions, weight, color, and consistency. They can also record details about abnormalities, such as lesions or tumors, including their location, size, and appearance. The module allows technologists to document the number and location of sections taken for further microscopic examination. They can also include any special instructions or notes for the pathologist.
The Basic Gross Entry Capture module is designed to work with barcode scanners and label printers, enhancing efficiency and reducing the risk of errors. When a specimen is received, a unique barcode is generated and printed, which can be scanned at each step of the process to access and update the specimen's information.
In short, the module ensures that the data entered during the grossing process can be easily accessed and utilized in downstream processes, such as microscopic examination, diagnosis, and report generation. Every detail of the grossing process is accurately captured, facilitating clear communication, accurate diagnoses, and high-quality patient care.
The Histology module offers comprehensive features to support, streamline, and automate laboratory processes from grossing to case sign-out.
After the grossing stage, operators are equipped to track the beginning and end times of block processing meticulously. This feature enables real-time monitoring of each step and identifies which processor was used for each block, significantly enhancing quality control (QC) by providing a complete overview of every specimen's journey.
During the embedding phase, operators are shown all relevant case details, including a crucial double-check of the number of fragments. This ensures no discrepancies exist, guaranteeing data accuracy while maintaining the specimen's integrity.
At the microtome stage, the scanning of the cassette barcode automatically generates the necessary slide labels, minimizing manual entry and the potential for human error. The LIS platform also provides glass etching capabilities, adding a layer of data security and traceability for each specimen.
At the staining phase, the platform integrates with staining instruments, creating an interconnected, efficient workflow that eliminates manual steps and fosters even more accuracy.
Finally, as cases transition out of histology, the LIS system captures the sign-out of cases, ensuring that each step during processing is thoroughly documented and accounted for. This allows for easy case tracking and ensures the continuity and accuracy of the information throughout the laboratory workflow.
By incorporating these comprehensive histology features, small pathology labs will enjoy a fully integrated, automated, and efficient LIS solution tailored specifically for modern histopathology workflows.
The Cytology module is designed to accommodate the specific workflows and needs associated with both gynecologic (GYN) and non-gynecologic (Non-GYN) cytology.
For GYN cytology, the system is designed to manage and track all aspects of the workflow, from specimen receipt to final diagnosis. It supports various reporting protocols, including the Bethesda system, and ensures accurate reporting of patient results. It provides full visibility of Pap smear and ancillary tests, accommodating the need for a streamlined, integrated workflow that includes automated specimen adequacy assessment, cytotechnologist screening, quality control, and pathologist review processes. It can further interface with processors, automated slide preparation, and screening systems, streamlining the lab workflow.
For Non-GYN cytology, LigoLab caters to the diverse array of specimen types and reporting needs inherent to this discipline. From body fluids and fine needle aspirations to brushings and washings, the module offers tailored workflows that ensure appropriate handling, processing, and reporting of each specimen type. It provides end-to-end tracking of specimens, from the initial preparation through staining, interpretation, and final sign-out, ensuring comprehensive documentation and accountability at each step. Moreover, the system offers advanced imaging capabilities, including image acquisition and annotation, which can be invaluable in complex cases.
For both GYN and Non-GYN cytology, this module facilitates seamless communication between laboratory personnel, fostering a collaborative approach to patient care.
The Molecular module has been meticulously designed to handle the complexities and unique requirements of molecular diagnostic testing, which is often more complex than traditional pathology or laboratory medicine. This includes processes like DNA/RNA extraction, PCR setup, sequencing, and interpretation.
Based on customer preferences, the system is designed to send preliminary reports as soon as a part of the testing process has been completed. This allows healthcare providers to act on critical information even while the remaining components of the testing process are still being completed, thus enabling more timely and effective patient care.
The Molecular module also supports the integration of data from numerous sources, including various instruments and software, enhancing interoperability within the lab. It can track and manage all aspects of molecular LIS testing, from specimen receipt to final reporting, ensuring full traceability and compliance with all regulatory standards.
Worklists enable users to generate batches of samples and/or tests to run for specific instruments or workflows as needed, and a large batch of results can be released with a single click, all this serving as an example of how the Molecular module enables laboratories to efficiently and effectively conduct complex molecular diagnostic testing while ensuring clear, accurate, and timely communication of results.
The Clinical module is a robust and versatile solution designed to support a broad spectrum of directory services and laboratory tests. It can handle a multitude of assays, from routine clinical tests to more complex molecular and genetic assays.
The module includes several key features to support the entire testing workflow. First, it allows for a seamless ordering process, with the ability to handle different test requests and unique order preferences. For example, batch orders, standing orders, and reflex testing can all be easily managed within the system.
Another pivotal feature of the Clinical module is its extensive capability to integrate with various laboratory instruments. This allows for the automatic transfer of test orders to the instruments and subsequent retrieval of the results, significantly reducing manual intervention and the associated risk of errors. The module can communicate with instruments using a variety of protocols and data formats, ensuring interoperability regardless of the diversity of equipment in a specific lab.
Moreover, with the licensing of the rules engine, this module can handle complex decision-making processes based on the test results. This includes auto-validation rules, reflex testing rules, and more. By automating these processes, the Clinical module ensures that laboratory operations are faster, more efficient, and less prone to errors.
Also, the Clinical module supports comprehensive report generation. It can consolidate results from various tests and departments into one unified, easy-to-understand report. The system supports different report formats and can also deliver reports electronically to the ordering physicians or facilities.
The Clinical module is a comprehensive solution designed to streamline, automate, and enhance various aspects of clinical and reference laboratory operations, ultimately driving improved efficiency, accuracy, and patient care.
The Result Entry module is an integral part of the LigoLab platform in that it serves multiple departments, including anatomic pathology, clinical, and molecular diagnostics. This module facilitates the accurate entry of test results, streamlining the path from data capture to report generation.
The Result Entry module provides a user-friendly interface designed to increase productivity and minimize human error. It supports various data entry formats, including free text, voice-to-text, predefined macros, and picklists, import from instruments, calculated fields, and structured data, depending on the needs of each specific case type.
The system's logic is designed to help reduce manual entry as much as possible and automate where it can. For example, the module may automatically update related fields or render certain decisions or diagnoses based on certain entered values.
Integration with the rest of the LigoLab platform ensures that result entry directly feeds into comprehensive report generation, linking all relevant case information, including clinical history, gross descriptions, microscopic descriptions, diagnoses, special stains, and ancillary study results.
Additionally, the module is designed with a full audit trail, capturing every modification, the user who made the change, the time of the change, and previous and new values, promoting transparency and aiding in quality control.
The Result Entry Module accelerates the result entry process, maintaining accuracy, promoting productivity, and integrating seamlessly with other aspects of the lab workflow.
The Reporting module is a highly versatile and customizable tool that synthesizes all pertinent case information into a comprehensive and understandable format for final sign-out and distribution.
The module combines all the various components of a case, including clinical information, specimen data, test results, interpretations, and images, into a single, organized report. It can produce reports for all lab disciplines, anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, molecular diagnostics, or any other department.
The Reporting module also offers extensive flexibility in terms of customization. Lab administrators can design templates that cater to the specific needs of their laboratory and clients, maintaining their unique brand identity. The report layout, text formatting, inclusion of logos, and even the data structure can be tailored to meet client preferences.
Going further, the Reporting module includes powerful automation features, such as automatically appending addendum reports to the original report, ensuring all relevant information is collected in a single, comprehensive document.
Another unique feature is the capacity to create cumulative patient reports, compiling data from multiple encounters over time to track and analyze the patient's progress and outcomes.
The Reporting module also integrates with the Distribution module, automating report delivery via fax, secure email, direct interface, web portal, or hard copy printing, according to each client's preference.
The module is a key tool that transforms complex data into an understandable, neat, and professional format, helping to communicate valuable information to clinicians and improving patient care.
Regular Support is an integral part of a foundational agreement with LigoLab. It addresses a broad spectrum of service needs, encompassing assistance with software operation, resolution of minor issues, software updates, and addressing everyday inquiries. Our Regular Support team is available during standard business hours from Monday through Friday.
This level of support is ideally suited for general questions, assistance with non-urgent issues, and guidance on navigating and optimizing the usage of our LIS platform. Partner labs can conveniently submit Regular Support requests via our dedicated customer support portal or email. This enables them to create, track, and manage the resolution of support tickets.
Our commitment to service remains unswerving even outside the standard business hours. We provide 24/7 support for critical issues, swiftly addressing any significant operational hitches.
Under Regular Support, our customer service team is committed to responding to support tickets within a 24-hour timeframe, demonstrating our dedication to prompt and efficient service resolution.
LigoLab: Advanced Laboratory Information Systems Backed By Decades of Industry Experience
As you can see from our detailed look at the Essential Tier of LigoLab Informatics Platform, our company’s success is based on an intimate understanding of the unique needs of all of our laboratory partners, no matter what stage of business they happen to be at currently. Unlike legacy LIS vendors and the rigid LIS systems they market, our company aligns with our laboratory partners on price and functionality and actively works daily to develop new modules and features that will help them leverage the power of the LIS platform to scale up as their needs evolve and opportunities arise.
Searching for a foundational LIS solution for your laboratory operations? Contact us today to learn more about the Essential Tier.