Pathology Software and Laboratory Information Technology

Pathology Software and Laboratory Information Technology

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A few months back we produced a blog highlighting some of the key questions all pathology practices and clinical labs should ask when they evaluate pathology lab software and laboratory information systems (LIS abbreviation medical). The questions in that blog primarily focused on the support offered by laboratory information system companies

Here’s a link to the blog with FAQs for LIS software vendors

Today we’ll focus on some key questions that need to be addressed when evaluating pathology software, but this time the area of emphasis will be information technology

Learn More: LIS System Benefits for IT Directors 

The Use of Information Technology in the Medical Lab

Medical labs use information technology to enhance operations and improve how patients get tested, diagnosed, and treated, and as information technology advances, the impact will continue to grow. 

Lab information systems (LIS systems) serve as examples of IT applied within the laboratory setting, with these medical LIS systems operating as the centerpiece of laboratory workflow management as they support lab processes and track specimens while also aiding in lab data management and reporting, quality control, and compliance with regulatory requirements. 

Pathology Software Deployment & LIS System Architecture 

When evaluating medical LIS systems, it’s important to understand that not all LIS system software is alike. 

There are major differences between legacy LIS systems and modern laboratory information systems that offer the flexibility and functionality lab managers need to compete in today’s increasingly challenging landscape. 

Learn More: Comparing LigoLab Informatics Platform with Legacy Laboratory Information System Software

The best LIS software can be deployed to fit any medical lab’s organizational goals and priorities. For example, laboratory information systems like the LigoLab Informatics Platform can be deployed both on-premises and in the Cloud, and they can run anywhere around the world without VPN connections or terminal servers. 

A LIS system with an agnostic backend is a major advantage because it allows the LIS software vendors to accommodate installations of any scale on any operating system while fulfilling the lab client’s specific requirements for a particular installation. 

Learn More: Is Your Laboratory Information System and Lab Vendor Holding Your Laboratory Hostage?

Best LIS software

Pathology Reporting Software & Information Technology FAQs

Take a moment to review the IT FAQs listed below and then confirm with the laboratory information system companies you’re speaking with that their LIS system has the desired functionality. 

If the LIS company responds “Yes” to all the listed FAQs, you and your lab colleagues can rest assured knowing that the LIS model under review is modern and full of features.

  • Does the LIS system operate with a traditional client-server architecture, with the LIS software installed on each machine that needs to access the system?
  • Does the LIS system operate with a web-based interface, and can it be hosted on a server and accessed via a web browser?
  • Does the LIS system contain a single, centralized database that supports multiple sites and departments?
  • Is the LIS system designed to accommodate upgrades to the back-end database that don’t require extensive reconfiguration? 
  • Is the LIS system negatively impacted when used by multiple users? 
  • Does the LIS system apply security features to all system files?
  • Does the LIS system apply log-in security to all servers and all workstations using the LIS software?
  • Does the LIS system provide a mechanism for workstation and server authentication? 
  • Does the LIS system apply Secured Socket Layer (SSL) encryption on the web client interface?
  • Does the LIS system encrypt client passwords in a database with support for multi-case and special characters? 
  • Does the LIS system use TCP/IP as its network transport?
  • Does the LIS system have data archiving functionality, including a configurable scheduled archive, for all contained data, without requiring an offline mode or human interaction to complete the task? 
  • Does the LIS system have automated backup and restore capability without support intervention and manual backups?
  • Does the LIS system maintain the transactional history of all lab information system administrators?
  • Does the LIS system maintain an analyst communication log that’s accessible by an administrator?

Learn More: How LigoLab is Shaping the Future of Clinical Labs & Pathology Groups

The next four FAQs cover questions related to the lab information management system and hardware and software environments.

Hardware Environment

  • Is the LIS system compatible with a variety of hardware environments?
  • Can the LIS system be utilized with a touch-screen?

Note: Here’s an example of how a touch-screen can be utilized with LigoLab Informatics Platform - LigoLab’s Grossing Workstation Window 

Software Environment 

  • Is the LIS system compatible with a variety of software environments?
  • Does the LIS system utilize a non-proprietary database like Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server?

Notes: Most LigoLab Informatics Platform deployments are on a Microsoft SQL server. LigoLab provides read-only access to the database upon request.

For more information on LigoLab Platform requirements and other technical specifications, please refer to LigoLab’s Prospects FAQs

LIS system

Pathology LIS Systems: a Mission-Critical Decision 

Recent laboratory surveys have shown that most users are unsatisfied with their current pathology LIS systems thanks to a lack of functionality, inefficient manual laboratory workflow, and barriers between disparate pathology lab software systems. 

In most cases, these are examples of laboratory information systems that years ago fit the bill but are now considered legacy LIS systems because they haven’t kept pace with advances in LIS software technology. 

A rigid and outdated lab information system can’t provide the performance, reliability, and scalability needed to excel in the modern medical lab. 

Fortunately, there are modern alternatives, and the best LIS software can now unite all diagnostic disciplines, departments, roles, processes (including laboratory billing; lab revenue cycle management), and specimens on one powerful end-to-end lab informatics system that covers a lab’s technical and financial operations. 

Learn More: Reduce Denials and Stop Revenue Leakage With Integrated Laboratory Billing Management

All lab managers know that selecting the right LIS system is a mission-critical decision. Choose wrong and the lab won’t be able to grow efficiently, so asking the right questions and reviewing all the resources available are highly recommended steps all lab management should take when faced with such a momentous decision. 

Learn More: How to Set Up a Committee to Select a Laboratory Information System

With that in mind, LigoLab has a helpful Resource Hub that includes White Papers, Case Studies, Webinars, Testimonial Videos, and Product Overview Videos, and here is a great resource from Clinical Lab Products magazine that focuses on the 7 Best Practices for a Successful LIMS/LIS Implementation.

LigoLab’s All-in-One Pathology Lab Management Solution 

LigoLab Informatics Platform offers unlimited flexibility in setup, with over 1,000 configurable entities that support the user’s ability to quickly introduce new tests, results, reports, and fields. Platform features include integrated LIS system and lab RCM modules that eliminate data silos, a custom scripting language, a flagging subsystem, plus rule, automation, and interface engines.

Say goodbye to your inefficient pathology lab management solution and hello to LIS software with increased productivity and net collections. 

To learn more about LigoLab’s LIS system software and how it can benefit your laboratory business, fill out our contact form and request a consultation with a LigoLab Product Specialist. 

Learn More: Navigating the Future of Pathology: The LigoLab Advantage

Michael Kalinowski
Michael Handles Marketing and Communications for LigoLab

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