LIS Systems - Learn the Basics and Find Out How the Best Lab Management Software Efficiently Maximizes Growth for Clinical & Pathology Labs
April 4, 2023
Understanding the Basics: An Introduction to Laboratory Information Systems
In today's rapidly-evolving healthcare landscape, laboratory information systems have become essential tools for improving laboratory management, efficiency, accuracy, and patient outcomes.
What is a Laboratory Information System (LIS)?
A laboratory information system (LIS) is software that has become a common part of the data infrastructure of advanced healthcare systems, busy laboratories, and hospitals.
Inside labs, the LIS takes care of data flow and simplifies various lab processes like:
- Recording, updating, and storing patient-related information
- Tracking sample management
- Report management (generation and distribution)
LigoLab offers enterprise-grade laboratory information system software. The fast-growing and agile company is best known for its award-winning LIS & RCM Laboratory Informatics Platform.
The platform offers a single, embedded suite of applications designed to improve laboratory processes and data and sample management for anatomic pathology groups and clinical laboratories that specialize in:
- Molecular diagnostics
Why is a Laboratory Information Management System Needed?
Every modern pathology lab, whether focused on anatomical, clinical, or molecular testing, aims to become more efficient and productive. However, these goals are often hindered by outdated, non-integrated LIS systems produced by legacy laboratory information system companies.
Far too often, lab technicians are forced to work with rigid and closed LIS software that fails to meet the needs of rapidly evolving laboratory environments, such as pathology reporting software or molecular lab testing software. These lab information systems are unable to adapt to the changing times, leaving users frustrated with performance and reliability.
With the integration of LIS medical solutions and laboratory information system vendors, it's now possible to leverage advanced pathology lab software and laboratory billing systems to streamline lab workflows.
This new generation of LIS software vendors offers solutions that not only enhance the clinical lab workflow but also support laboratory revenue cycle management (RCM) and regulatory compliance.
By adopting these cutting-edge LIS systems, labs can improve their overall efficiency and position themselves for growth in an ever-evolving market.
What’s the Difference Between LIS Software & LIMS Software?
A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is software designed for research environments and other non-clinical laboratory settings. It helps handle large and complex data generated by large-scale industries to make maintenance, operations, and product development decisions.
In some cases, LIMS systems can be more expensive and complex to set up compared to LIS systems. It is also important to note that LIMS and LIS systems follow different regulatory bodies for compliance.
In contrast, LIS software is specifically created for clinical settings and patient care. LigoLab's LIS software solution provides a scalable and future-proof platform that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of any lab, regardless of its size. The platform is flexible, easily allowing for the addition of more volume and services as laboratory operations expand.
With LigoLab's LIS solution, users can improve operational workflows, reduce labor costs, and increase revenue and profit by:
- Combining all departments and operations within a single LIS, eliminating data silos
- Automating complex processes and reducing manual touchpoints
- Maximizing interoperability and efficiency
- Reducing human errors and lost specimens
- Generating fully customizable reports
- Offering multiple options for report delivery
- Monitoring quality control for quick identification, troubleshooting, and problem resolution
- Improving lab test turnaround times
- Accessing real-time business analytics (dashboards, stats, dynamic reports) from every department
Additionally, when paired with LigoLab RCM, laboratories can initiate the billing cycle at order inception, backed by verification, eligibility, and scrubbing components that enhance claim submissions, revenue, and accounts receivables while decreasing denials and compliance risk.
Do All LIS Software Vendors Provide the Same Standard for Updates, Support, & Maintenance?
Leveraging modern LIS software is critical for laboratory operations. But when it comes to LIS software updates, support, and maintenance, does every vendor provide the same standard?
With LigoLab’s LIS solution, laboratories have full control over when an update occurs while also benefiting from the ongoing and rapid development of new enhancements and features. LigoLab provides customers with a stable and supported version of the platform in the Production Environment, as well as two additional environments for testing and validation purposes.
New features are developed and rolled out to all customers via a Test Environment, where users can familiarize themselves with the latest capabilities. Customers can then train, test, and validate updates on their schedule before they are pushed to the Production Environment. LigoLab releases four feature versions annually, all while supporting all previous versions deployed to customer Production Environments.
Each update to the platform undergoes strict validation and regression testing before release, ensuring the highest level of software quality.
Learn more about LigoLab's lab-first approach to implementations and upgrades.
Maximizing Efficiency: The Benefits of Implementing a Modern LIS Software
By upgrading to a modern laboratory information system, you can streamline processes, enhance accuracy, improve patient outcomes, and more.
Let’s walk through exactly how implementing a state-of-the-art laboratory information system can maximize efficiency and take your lab to the next level.
What Role Does Modern LIS Software Play in Improving Lab Workflow Efficiency?
LigoLab Informatics Platform expertly handles a laboratory's data needs by seamlessly connecting and integrating all departments and lab processes into one unified software infrastructure and shared database.
This approach eliminates data silos and ensures clinical data integrity throughout every department, enabling labs to work more efficiently, stand out in the market, expand their operations, and enhance profitability.
LigoLab was built on the idea of having a single, reliable source of truth for laboratory data. As a result, the company created an integrated suite of applications that support various aspects of lab management, such as:
- Patient engagement
- Laboratory billing
- Specimen tracking
- Case and test processing
- Rules and automation
- Outreach solutions
- Document scanning
- Digital pathology workflow
- And more
This all-inclusive laboratory information system (LIS) platform also tackles laboratory interoperability issues by including a standard interface engine that optimizes connectivity with instruments, EHRs, and third parties.
By utilizing LigoLab's LIS software solutions, lab partners can accomplish more with fewer resources, ensuring transparency in their operations and maintaining tighter control over their businesses, enabling them to grow rapidly and boost their profitability.
How Do Modern Laboratory Information Management Systems Outperform Traditional Solutions?
Legacy LIS software often struggles to provide the flexibility, automation, and interoperability required to fully support lab operations, enhance patient outcomes, expand lab testing services, and boost collections for individual laboratories.
Common LIS challenges that hinder growth include:
- Reliability and performance issues
- Limited functionality (insufficient modules and features)
- Scalability constraints (inability to cope with increasing demand)
- Configuration complexity (reliance on external vendor support)
- Legacy report formats and delivery options that fail to meet customer needs
- Inefficient lab workflows and time-consuming manual processes
- Sample management and pathology specimen tracking systems that lack a robust chain of custody, unique barcode identification, and verification and security checkpoints
- Difficulty accessing data on processes, bottlenecks, and compliance
- Intradepartmental and external interoperability needs (EMR/EHR integration, APIs, laboratory instrumentation, state registries, laboratory billing services)
LigoLab’s LIS Software Solutions: The Future of Lab Management
At LigoLab, we understand the challenges that laboratories face in today's healthcare landscape.
That's why we've created our innovative LIS software solutions to help labs of all sizes and specialties streamline their operations, improve patient outcomes, and achieve their goals.
Upgrade & Enhance Critical Areas with LigoLab’s Laboratory Information Management Software
With LigoLab Informatics Platform, you can enhance all departmental processes at every stage, from accessioning and sample management to specimen tracking, reporting, and collections.
The platform supports and streamlines all clinical lab workflows and processes, making it a reliable and efficient solution for modern pathology labs.
Lab Revenue Cycle Management with Real-Time Order Validation
LigoLab's laboratory information management software empowers laboratories to ensure a smooth and productive billing workflow right from order entry. The platform’s LIS and RCM modules share a common database and software infrastructure that supports data verification and scrubbing components, plus real-time patient and payer data verification, coverage lookup, and eligibility tools that seamlessly integrate into a live queue-facilitated workflow.
With LigoLab, you get the following features for efficient lab revenue cycle management:
- Demographic check, address validation, insurance discovery, and eligibility verification at order inception
- Bidirectional synchronization with third-party services (mailing companies, clearinghouses, NPI Registry, payment processors)
- Automated ICD and CPT coding and TC/PC splitting
- Real-time data processing workflow queues for heightened visibility
- Detailed statistical reports to monitor trends and KPIs
Additionally, LigoLab supports the management of client contracts by providing extensive functionality, customization, and automation for client billing, including options like unlimited fee schedules, discounting, special pricing, capitation, incremental pricing, and automatic travel and transportation pricing.
These features make LigoLab's lab revenue cycle management more efficient, transparent, and productive than standard solutions, preventing claim rejections and denials, and ensuring a higher level of billing accuracy.
LigoLab’s Reliable & Accurate Specimen Management
Error-free sample management is vital for all medical laboratories and should be expected from the best LIS medical software.
The LigoLab Platform assigns each specimen a unique identifier, ensuring the chain of custody and security of the specimen and virtually eliminating lost or misplaced orders by:
- Integration with all barcode printing and etching hardware
- Automatic generation of a unique identifier for every specimen and document
- Full traceability of specimens with an awareness of the next step in the workflow
- Users can track both beginning and end times for laboratory instrumentation processing
- Automatic detection of duplicate patient profiles at order entry
Tailor-Made Lab Reports: LigoLab's Customizable Report Generation Engine
LigoLab offers customizable, intelligent lab reports with high-performance reporting and distribution engines that feature rule-based formatting and uniform presentation.
With the report generation engine, users can customize reports with rich-text capabilities (format, size, colors, highlights, tables, bullet points, etc.), images, diagrams, annotation, macros, conditional rules, dictation to text, CAP cancer protocol templates, and automated distribution based on the customer's preference.
Delivery options include provider portal, outreach software, EMR/EHR, fax, secure email, in-house printing, PDF drops, APIs, IVR, SMS, and remote print server.
- Standardized report structure based on industry trends
- Custom template format for client satisfaction and co-branding
- Integrated reports for time-saving efficiency
- Cumulative reports for patient safety and continuity
- Automated distribution based on customer preferences
Stay Connected with LigoLab Connect: Access Your Lab Reports Anytime, Anywhere
LigoLab Connect allows medical practitioners and laboratory specialists to interact with the laboratory remotely. Clients can access and search reports, retrieve cumulative charts, fax, and gain access to all patient-related scanned documents through this outreach software solution.
- Free and easy installation with unlimited licensing for downloads
- Secure internet application that serves as an extension of the laboratory
- No need for third-party outreach or middleware software
- Custom branding with company logos
- Self-service tools for inventory management and access to scanned documents to reduce customer service calls
Another new option for outreach is LigoLab Web Connect, a web-based application that offers instant access to the LigoLab Platform from anywhere at any time without a software installation requirement.
TestDirectly Web Portal: Empowering Patients with Direct-to-Consumer Testing
The TestDirectly Direct-to-Consumer Web Portal (DTC) improves testing capacity and reduces turnaround times by creating an electronic workflow that directly connects with the patient for specimen collection, lab testing, and reporting.
Patients can schedule collection appointments, register themselves, and receive automated result notifications via email and/or SMS.
Other key features of the TestDirectly Web Portal include:
- Integration with all LIS and RCM/billing systems to enhance laboratory management reporting
- Increased accessibility to testing that opens new revenue streams
- Live insurance discovery and eligibility checks
- Specimen barcoding and sample management support
- Report delivery options via email, SMS, portal, or interface
- Real-time results and analytics for patients, providers, employers, and public health
- Support for various collection workflows, such as drive-through, walk-up, concierge, organizational, travel, pooled, and at-home
Future-Proof Your Lab: LIS Software with Maximum Interoperability
LigoLab’s laboratory information management software features an open architecture and a best-in-class interface engine that functions with maximum interoperability, enabling the LIS to easily connect to:
- A vast majority of analyzers (over 600 different instrument types)
- All EMRs and EHRs
- Third-party services
This includes internal networking (LIS/RCM) as well as connections with external networks of healthcare organizations, such as billing services, the Tumor Registry, and state reporting agencies.
LigoLab’s proprietary interface engine supports all standard interchange protocols, including:
- Flat File
- And more
LIS Systems that Automate Complex Processes & Reduces Human Intervention
LigoLab's rule engine allows users to automate complex and inefficient laboratory processes without custom scripts. The automation engine is integrated into the suite of applications and triggers actions when certain logical conditions are met, reducing the need for human intervention.
- An agile platform that automates laboratory processes for optimal efficiency
- Real-time workflow queues for clinical data visibility
- Flexible rule engine for conditional automation
- Multi-layered workflow management control
Regulatory Compliance Made Easy
To ensure that your laboratory operates within the guidelines of regulatory bodies such as CAP, CLIA, HIPAA, and others, LigoLab offers specialized tools that minimize compliance risks, reduce audit risk, and prevent revenue loss, including:
- Compliance-conscious workflows and reports
- Ad hoc data query capabilities
- Support for all established regulatory protocols
- Compliance verification at every stage
Protect Your Lab & Patient Data with LigoLab's Advanced Security Features
LigoLab offers advanced security and privacy features that protect both the laboratory and the patient’s data.
- Automatic log-off for user inactivity
- A robust and searchable audit trail that logs every activity
- User permission and visibility control
Invest in Your Lab's Future: Laboratory Information Management Software with a Proven ROI
“The end-to-end efficiency created by LigoLab Informatics Platform is a major reason why lab managers choose a system like ours. Many of our lab partners migrated from homegrown or legacy systems that lacked functionality, reliability, and scalability.”
- Suren Avunjian, LigoLab CEO
Avunjian said that it’s common for lab managers to resist making a switch, even though they know it’s needed to remain relevant, because of fear.
“These lab managers are being held hostage by their current vendor because they haven’t seen a return on their initial investment. This leaves lab management feeling stuck and forced to make the best out of a bad situation that will only get worse.”
So, how can lab managers be assured of a healthy return on their investment with LigoLab's software solution?
“Our platform drives workflows supported by automation and rules that help the laboratory become super-efficient and virtually mistake-free. The platform removes the bottlenecks and barriers that prevent scalability. When we survey our clients, we regularly hear how they’ve increased lab productivity, as measured by samples processed per FTE staff, by two-and-a-half times simply by deploying our software.”
Avunjian noted that ROI can be difficult to measure, but the fact that the platform enables labs to scale without adding FTEs is a good place to start.
“As soon as our system is deployed, labs can take on more business with the same amount of personnel because they are no longer limited by an old and antiquated system. With LigoLab, they can break that artificial ceiling that’s holding them back as an organization.”
For Avunjian and his team, it’s no surprise that the fastest-growing labs in the country are using LigoLab's game-changing platform.
“They’ve abandoned their old restrictive systems and the legacy laboratory information system companies they were working with and replaced them with a comprehensive and infinitely configurable platform that's supported with unlimited and unmatched customer service.”
Achieving a Seamless LIS Software Implementation: LigoLab's Four-Phase Process
LigoLab's track record speaks for itself with a 100 percent success rate for LIS software implementations. The company meticulously follows a four-phase installation plan that draws on nearly two decades of expertise and hundreds of successful go-lives.
Here are the four phases of LigoLab's LIS software implementation:
Discovery: In-depth domain analysis that evaluates all laboratory workflows, tools, and instruments. LigoLab's team maps out the lab's entire operation, identifies key areas that need improvement, and develops an implementation plan.
Configuration: LigoLab's implementation team configures the baseline settings of master files, historical data imports, and interface builds, based on the initial plan.
Testing and Validation: The laboratory begins to process live cases in parallel, and any workflow gaps are discovered and addressed. LigoLab's team ensures that the software runs smoothly and is aligned with the lab's requirements.
Go-Live: With testing and validation completed, the new LIS software is ready for go-live. LigoLab's team works closely with lab personnel to resolve any issues that arise and make adjustments as necessary, providing unparalleled customer support.
LigoLab: Your Partner in Lab Growth & Success
At LigoLab, we're passionate about helping clinical laboratories and pathology groups reach their full potential. Our comprehensive and agile laboratory information system (LIS) software solutions are designed to empower labs of all sizes and specialties to thrive in today's competitive healthcare landscape.
Our commitment to excellence starts with our name, which comes from the Latin word "Ligo" meaning to unite or connect. We believe that by connecting our lab partners with our powerful silo-free software solutions, we can help them achieve their goals and make a positive impact on the patients they serve.
Our cloud-based platform is built for scalability and ease of use, with features and enhancements added daily to ensure that labs have the tools they need to succeed. Our commitment to data security means that labs can trust us to protect their sensitive information, while our automation and workflow tools help them work more efficiently than ever before.
Whether you're a clinical, anatomic, or molecular pathology lab, our LIS software solutions are designed to streamline your operations, increase productivity, and position you for success in a rapidly evolving industry.
LigoLab is a privately-owned company that’s headquartered in Los Angeles. Since 2006, its mission has been to develop dynamic and diverse end-to-end LIS medical software solutions for laboratories, helping them expand services and add revenue sources as they grow and thrive.
At LigoLab, we're not just providing software solutions - we're helping our lab partners grow and thrive. Let us unite your lab with the tools you need to achieve your goals and transform your business.