Medical Lab Management Software
July 18, 2022
Every medical laboratory needs a workflow management system. Sample processing and data management are the basic elements of a medical lab operation. Manual tracking and processing are time-consuming and are often subject to human error – which is far from ideal and threatens patient safety. To ensure smooth and efficient workflow, medical labs are increasingly employing medical lab management software. In this article, we will discuss how lab management software contributes to an efficient and optimized clinical laboratory workflow.
Clinical Laboratory Management Software
Just as electronic medical records (EMR) have become central to the healthcare industry, lab manager software is key to the efficient running of a clinical lab.
There are two types of software available to lab managers: laboratory information systems (LIS), which focus on test results and patient information; and laboratory information management software (LIMS), which is geared more toward batch sample management. Truth be told, the terms can and are used interchangeably throughout the industry.
What is Laboratory Information Management Software?
The laboratory information management system software, also called LIS or LIMS, is a software made for the improvement of labs’ efficiency and productivity. A modern system is a member of the team, a manager, and an administrator. It automates workflows and tracks all important aspects of a laboratory operational process. It ensures that all instruments and analyzers are working properly, and can help manage efficiency and costs by tracking samples, standardizing protocols, and making sure that no human errors occur.
Laboratory information management system vendors note that the right system for each laboratory is different, and it all depends on the labs’ needs. However, basic laboratory information management system functions center on keeping track of data from samples, experiments, and research.
With the help of lab project management software, laboratories can be sure that they adhere to quality standards and are in compliance with regulatory requirements. By selecting the best lab management software for their needs, they can also maximize the efficiency of all laboratory processes, and effectively allocate their staff and resources.
The Benefits of Medical Lab Software Solutions
Every lab has different needs, and the best laboratory information management systems must be adaptable to these needs. For example, pathology lab management software needs to interface with very different instruments than specimen management software geared for biochemistry or molecular testing instruments. The best medical lab software is software that can be completely personalized for the laboratory that uses it.
There are some basic features that each lab data management software contains, and here are some benefits that come with using clinical lab management software.
Help with Sample Management and Tracking
One of the key functions of LIS or LIMS systems is to facilitate effective management of the samples passing through clinical labs. This includes protocols for safekeeping, proper handling, data quality, and a proper chain of testing procedures. It also includes shipment and transport, inventory location, and keeping track of prior testing procedures.
Management of Instruments and Inventory
The best medical lab software can also monitor the lab’s instruments, their work schedule, and maintenance. This can include a variety of tasks such as keeping track of storage capacity, giving instructions for proper usage, notification of possible dysfunctionality of an instrument, etc.
Help with Laboratory and Team Management
The lab asset management software helps with proper management of workforce and instruments. It can ensure efficient timelines, use of resources, queued samples and procedures. With its help, the lab manager can productively allocate people, equipment, and resources to optimize workflows.
Reporting and Data Analysis
Rather than needing a separate medical lab report software, LIS and LIMS will also take care of one of the crucial aspects of laboratory work - analysis of data and proper reporting of results. The information extracted from samples can be compiled, shared, audited, and analyzed through the software.
Compliance with Regulations and Protocols
Working with samples, reagents, and pathogens requires a strict procedure for storage, handling, and conduct. Lab management system software can automate these processes and make sure that the work is compliant with regulations. It facilitates routine quality control assessments and reports to regulatory agencies.
Secure Data Storage and Easy Sharing
With the help of laboratory information systems (LIS and LIMS), laboratories can be sure that confidential patient data will be protected. An online lab management system uses cloud-based storage, and thus makes sure that all the data and databases are safely kept, secured, and backed up. Furthermore, this way of keeping a digital impression of results on a cloud ensures easy communication and result sharing with other laboratories, hospitals, clients, or institutions.
Helps with Billing
Lab management software reviews underline the importance of billing features that reside in lab data management software. While separate medical lab billing software is an option, a laboratory information system and financial management system that is fully integrated allows for automated billing, secure transactions, and timely payments.
The best LIS and LIMS solutions will seamlessly combine patient demographics, lab requests, medical insurance data, and financial information to reduce time spent processing insurance claims and chasing payments.
Other Uses of Lab Workflow Management Software
Laboratory Information Management Software can be implemented in various lab environments, including research labs, agricultural labs, and others. The basic functionalities are the same; however, each type is customized for specific needs. For example, research lab management software optimizes the workflow of a research lab and helps with quality control.
Whatever the lab environment, LIS and LIMS systems make sure that all steps and requirements are taken and protocols followed. That can include:
- Time management
- Cost management
- Preparation, storage, and processing of samples
- Data collection and storage of information
- Compliance with standard operating procedures
Lab management software not only saves time and resources, but also standardizes the whole process, which is critical for any type of research.
Laboratory management software is one of the most important tools that lab professionals use to efficiently conduct their laboratory work. By coordinating sample handling, procedural standardization, data storage, team and resource management, and billing, the right software can transform the efficiency of the entire lab. It’s one of the most valued “team members” in a laboratory, regardless of whether it’s a customized pathology management software, or a broader medical lab management software.