Six Factors That Should Be Considered Before Upgrading Your Lab's Pathology Reporting Software
January 31, 2024
It’s often said that the laboratory report is the product or calling card of a laboratory, so the performance of the pathology lab reporting software should be a priority for any lab leader in search of a new laboratory information system (LIS abbreviation medical).
Questions related to LigoLab’s laboratory report software solution come up every time we do a laboratory information system software demonstration, once again reflecting how fundamentally important pathology LIS systems and pathology management software remain in the industry. Because of this, we’ve put together a list of six factors that should be considered when speaking with laboratory information system companies about their pathology lab software capabilities.
LIS System Interoperability
It doesn’t matter how good the report looks if no one can see it. Choose a LIS system with an open architecture and a robust interface engine. Both are needed for connectivity with a wide range of electronic medical records (EMRs)and laboratory billing services used by hospitals and health systems across the country. The best laboratory information system software supports a wide variety of formats, including PDF, XML, and HL7. What the report looks like on the receiving end is also critically important. Transferred reports need to be formatted correctly so that they look good on the receiving EMR. Don’t forget to also ask if the LIS system engineered by the LIS company can support embedded PDFs, attachments, and links embedded within the HL7 message.
Lab Information System Flexibility
Don’t spend all of the time and resources that go into implementing a new laboratory information system without first learning how flexible that LIS system is. Can it deliver fully customizable report templates that look the way you want them to look, pixel-by-pixel? Can it build templates for co-branding opportunities with clients? Can it deliver more value for clients through personalization and saved preferences? Be sure to ask the LIS company if the customization of reports is an option. If they say yes, they will also likely be able to provide LIS software training that will allow you to make changes to the templates in-house at no extra cost. Find out if the laboratory information system can generate unique patient reports and then host them on a patient portal (for example: direct-to-consumer lab testing with TestDirectly and TestDirectly.com), and then send critical results to the provider via SMS, fax, etc.
LigoLab's template-driven reports include key elements like full-color rich text, diagrams, and images, all licensed and pre-loaded into the LIS system, all of which sets its pathology lab report software apart from other LIS systems produced by other LIS vendors.
LIS System Configurability
We’ve addressed template flexibility, but equally important is the configurability that exists within the LIS system. Be sure to ask LIS software vendors if their templating engine is embedded in the LIS system or if it’s a stand-alone software like Crystal Reports. Regarding advanced LIS system features, you might want to check if the medical LIS can support macros and the ability to bring in ANY discrete field from the LIS system and apply conditional rules in the report template. These questions are often overlooked, and some laboratory information system companies may not have the configurability you’re going to need. Ask the questions now instead of six months down the road to make sure your lab doesn’t get stuck with an expensive pathology lab software development charge, or even worse, be told by the LIS company that it’s not possible to accommodate your needs. Can attachments, including images and diagrams be added to the reports and can they be annotated? These are three more important factors to consider when deciding what to do before selecting the best LIS company for your lab’s needs and going forward.
LIS System Integrated Reporting Functionality
Can the lab information system that you’re evaluating automatically pull the results of multiple tests across multiple departments into one well-organized and easy-to-read lab report summary? Integrated reporting sure beats the time-consuming and error-prone alternative of having a pathologist manually compile all of the data on a Word document. Hemepath reports can take 20 minutes for a pathologist to assemble using traditional tools. The best LIS platforms automatically build the report for the pathologist as soon as the case is opened, pulling in CBC results, Flow Cytometry Interpretation, and Final Dx from the Surgical report as an example.
Laboratory Information System and Decision Support
To enhance the value of reports and improve care, many modern clinical labs are incorporating decision support systems or best practice protocols into their reports. These risk assessment tools help caregivers filter through data quickly and serve as a guide for the treatment of a patient and the next steps in care. As the healthcare industry continues to move toward value-based care and away from fee-for-service, a laboratory information system with decision-support functionality creates added value for the lab. Be sure to ask the LIS company if the laboratory information system and its reporting engine support decision-support functionality.
LIS System Distribution
Now let’s talk about LIS system distribution. What good are aesthetically pleasing lab reports if the laboratory information system and laboratory information system companies producing them can’t effectively distribute them? Can the LIS system automatically distribute reports through an outreach module? Does it support delivery through email, fax, provider and patient web portals, remote and local printers, and SMS? Other than smoke signals, the LIS company you choose should be able to deliver the reports to your clients with ease.
The Best Laboratory Information System Vendors Have Mastered Lab Reports
The LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Informatics Platform is a great example of an LIS company that’s listened to its lab clients and delivered the most flexible and configurable laboratory information system platform available on the market. LigoLab demonstrates this with its fully customizable report templates.
LigoLab’s reporting and distribution engines drive the pathology reporting software process by creating reports that consolidate and augment test results with rich text formatting, images, and cumulative charts. Once finalized, the reports are then distributed automatically through every channel available.
LigoLab’s clients not only gain the freedom to create the reports that they desire, but they also get the deep domain expertise and best practices that come with laboratory information system software developed by and for pathologists and laboratorians since 2006.
Is the LIS system in your lab holding it back? Tired of pain points like lack of functionality, shrinking reimbursements, high denial rates, increased government regulations, and a lack of skilled technicians? Looking for a better and more efficient way to control costs, increase revenue, and scale your medical laboratory? LigoLab can help. Request a demo or a brief consultation with an LIS system product specialist to learn more.