Role of Anatomic Pathology Software in Optimizing Lab Workflow
December 21, 2023
Anatomic pathology is considered the most direct method to diagnose complex health issues. The method is used across specialties to determine the status of a disease. Anatomic pathology, along with clinical testing, builds the foundation of diagnostic medicine. Collecting tissues, preparing microscope slides, examining the samples, capturing the findings, and producing the result is a long laboratory workflow process that asks for the utmost precision and efficient coordination.
A laboratory information system (LIS meaning in medical labs) is pathology lab reporting software that helps speed up this lab workflow by automating several manual steps. Pathology lab software solutions are designed by LIS vendors to facilitate improved communication and collaboration between medical professionals handling the specimen at different stages of clinical testing and diagnosis. In addition to having a pathology specimen tracking system, the pathology reporting software also helps with patient management, data tracking, and quality assurance.
This article considers how anatomic lab information system software optimizes LIS pathology laboratory workflow management and assists pathologists by automating the process. It further elaborates on the interoperability between anatomical pathology software and digital pathology workflow.
What is Pathology Lab Reporting Software?
Pathology lab reporting software is a specialized laboratory information system or medical LIS software designed to manage the lab workflow of an anatomic pathology lab.
Lab information systems are primarily divided into two broad categories: clinical pathology and anatomic pathology. Other variations of LIS systems are also out there in the market, but these two types of LIS systems are widely used across the globe.
The functionality of the two types of laboratory information systems often overlaps due to the commonalities between each lab workflow. However, small but significant differences make each of these two LIS systems unique. The clinical pathology LIS system focuses on the collection and processing of biochemical samples, such as bodily fluids, to analyze hormonal or chemical levels, whereas the anatomic pathology LIS system uses tissue samples from biopsies or whole organs to diagnose a disease condition. The two types of laboratory information systems thus vary in the routines applied to specimen collection, sample tracking, and report generation.
The anatomic pathology lab information system (anatomical pathology software) can be a module within a large, all-inclusive pathology lab management system, or a standalone LIS software integrated with other healthcare management systems such as electronic health records and electronic medical records (EHRs and EMRs).
LIS Systems: Pathology Lab Software Built for Pathologists
Anatomic pathology LIS systems (LIS pathology) assist highly specialized Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) physicians with quick results and efficient case management. The anatomical pathology LIS model offers an end-to-end solution that includes entering the order into the LIS system, generating labels and barcodes, integrating pathology sample tracking, scanning documents, generating reports, quality control, and compliance.
The LIS system’s direct digital interface with microscopes and whole slide scanners helps with digitization and image acquisition (supporting digital pathology solutions). You can configure the pathology lab software to match the demands of your changing operations. Pathologists can leverage laboratory data for improved lab workflow and higher-quality results.
How Laboratory Information Systems are Optimizing Laboratory Data Management
The complex challenges of heavy workload and digitization facing the anatomic lab environment demand the implementation of high-performing laboratory information systems. Lab information systems (LIS pathology) help to manage laboratory workflow, track inventory, and generate reports. The best LIS systems also assist with laboratory revenue cycle management, offering an in-house laboratory billing solution. Real-time tracking of collected specimens improves lab workflow, optimizes time management, and reduces errors like lost or mislabeled specimens.
Laboratory information systems facilitate faster and more effective communication between pathologists, lab technicians, and the physicians they both serve. With modern laboratory information systems (medical LIS), labs and doctors can track the progress of a sample from collection to reporting. Rather than needing separate pathology lab reporting software, the LIS system delivers reports to the physician seamlessly, without delay.
Improved Data Access
Retrieval of historical data also becomes quick and easy with the help of a modern laboratory information system. This improves patient outcomes by enabling the physician to access the complete patient history, including all anatomic pathology lab test results, for faster diagnosis and closer monitoring.
Flexible for the Needs of Each Pathology Lab
Flexible lab information systems like LigoLab’s Informatics Platform can be used in both general and specialized anatomical pathology centers and are customizable for different sizes of facilities and their specific requirements. Be it a multi-site, multi-facility lab, or a single-site lab with limited capacity, laboratory information system vendors like LigoLab offer pathology lab software that is suitable for all operational sizes and throughputs.
Compared to general pathology management software, a LIS company that specializes in anatomic pathology lab LIS systems is better tuned to the specific needs of the anatomic pathology lab, providing improved interfacing with lab equipment and customization of reports. So, whether the focus of the lab is cytopathology or histology, LIS systems that have a robust anatomic pathology LIS module excel because they are adaptable to the laboratory’s specific needs. This leads to a smoother, faster lab workflow, and ultimately an increase in productivity and revenue.
The Bottom Line on LIS Systems and Anatomic Pathology
LIS systems engineered to support anatomic pathology enable labs to produce accurate test results within an acceptable time. These lab information systems have made significant progress during the last two decades and modern pathology lab reporting software comes with an integrated digital pathology solution. As a result, the entire process can be automated, enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of your laboratory.
LigoLab - We Help Labs Modernize and Grow Efficiently
From Latin, “Ligo” means to unite or connect, and that’s precisely what LigoLab Informatics Platform does for its LIS system partners. LigoLab is a LIS company dedicated to providing modern, turnkey, and agile laboratory software solutions tailored to the specific requirements of all diagnostic disciplines, including molecular, clinical, reference, and anatomic pathology laboratories.
To learn more about LigoLab’s pathology reporting software, click here to set up a brief call with one of our talented LIS software specialists.