The Best Laboratory Information Systems: Software Solutions for Clinical and Pathology Labs
January 3, 2024
Every pathology laboratory, be it anatomical or clinical, wants to grow and thrive, but that goal is easily hindered by outdated and non-integrated Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) that fail to meet the needs and challenges of rapidly evolving laboratory environments.
What is LIS in Healthcare?
A lab information system is a pathology lab software (also known as a healthcare LIS or a medical LIS) that has become a common part of the informatics infrastructure of advanced healthcare systems, busy medical laboratories, and hospitals.
Inside labs, the LIS system manages and organizes the flow of medical data, including various lab processes, such as recording, updating, and storing patient-related data, along with sample tracking, and reports management.
LigoLab Informatics Platform offers comprehensive and enterprise-grade pathology software. The cornerstone of the platform is its laboratory information system module which is designed to improve laboratory processes and data management for pathology groups (anatomic pathology LIS), clinical laboratories (LIS pathology), and molecular diagnostics laboratories (molecular LIS).
How Does LigoLab’s LIS Software Work?
LigoLab’s informatics platform comprehensively manages a laboratory’s data needs by connecting and integrating all departments and lab processes into one united laboratory information system software infrastructure with a common shared database. This removes the dreaded information silos that result from two disparate laboratory software systems (for instance, data sharing between a LIS system and a laboratory billing system requires constant synchronization and is prone to errors) and ensures clinical data integrity for all lab workflow and every lab department, thereby enabling medical laboratories and pathology groups to operate more efficiently and provide better service to its clients and their patients.
How Does a Modern LIS System Differ from a Legacy LIS System?
Legacy LIS systems often lack the flexibility, automation, and interoperability needed to fully support technical operations, improve patient outcomes, expand lab testing services, and increase collections for independent laboratories. Common LIS system software problems that create pain points and prevent growth include:
- Issues with reliability and performance
- Insufficient functionality (lacking modules and features)
- Lack of scalability (current LIS system can’t keep up with demand)
- Difficult to configure (requires external vendor support)
- Legacy report formats and delivery options that are unable to cater to customer needs
- Inefficient lab workflow and time-consuming manual processes
- Sample handling and sample tracking workflow that lacks a robust chain of custody, uniquely barcoded samples, plus verification and security check-points
- Information on processes, bottlenecks, and compliance is difficult to access
- Need for intradepartmental and external (EMR/EHRs, APIs, instruments, state registries, billing services) interoperability
What’s the Difference Between LIS Systems and Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)?
A laboratory information management system (LIMS full form) caters mostly to non-clinical laboratory settings, such as a research environment. A laboratory information management system is designed to deal with big and complex data generated by large-sized industries. LIMS lab management software generates data that is typically used in maintenance, operations, and product development decision-making. A lab LIMS is often more expensive and more complex to configure than a laboratory information system. Also, lab LIMS and LIS systems have different regulatory bodies to comply with.
LIS systems are custom-designed for clinical settings and patient care. As an example, with LigoLab’s LIS software solution, healthcare users enjoy a future-ready and scalable informatics platform that’s infinitely configurable to meet the specific needs of the customer, no matter the size or type of medical lab. The laboratory information system software can quickly adapt to add more physicians and/or laboratory personnel, interfaces, and services as laboratory operations expand. Users benefit from improved operational lab workflow, reduced labor costs, and increased revenue and profit by:
- Managing all departments and operations on one unified LIS system with no data silos
- Automating complex processes and reducing manual entry touchpoints
- Expanding services and acquiring new business
- Maximizing interoperability and efficiency
- Eliminating human errors and lost specimens by embedding automation and quality assurance protocols in all lab workflow
- Producing fully customizable reports
- Providing multiple options for report delivery
- Monitoring quality control to identify, troubleshoot, and resolve problems quickly
- Improving lab testing turnaround times
- Obtaining easily accessible business analytics (dashboards, stats, dynamic reports) from every department in real-time
Additionally, when paired with LigoLab’s laboratory billing solutions, laboratories gain the ability to start the laboratory billing process at order inception with the support of verification, eligibility, and scrubbing components that increase clean claim submissions, revenue, and accounts receivables, and decrease claim denials and compliance risk.
Upgrade and Enhance Critical Areas with LigoLab’s LIS System Software
From accessioning to specimen handling and tracking, and from reporting to collections, LigoLab Informatics Platform supports both laboratory information system processes and laboratory revenue cycle management (RCM cycle, lab billing) processes at every stage.
Real-Time Order Validation
LigoLab makes it possible to access the accurate information needed for a smooth and productive lab billing workflow at order entry. That’s where data verification and scrubbing components are shared by both the LIS system and the lab revenue cycle management modules, and real-time RCM tools like patient and payer data verification, insurance coverage lookup, and eligibility confirmation are seamlessly integrated into a live queue-facilitated lab workflow that provides a high level of transparency and prevents claim rejections and denials.
- Demographic check, address validation, insurance discovery, and eligibility verification at order inception
- Bi-directional 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 lab 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 and customization for client lab billing, including options like unlimited fee schedules, discounting, special pricing, capitation, incremental pricing, and automatic travel and transportation pricing.
Lab Sample Management System and Patient Safety
Error-free lab sample management is vital for all medical laboratories and should be expected from any modern lab information system. 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 lab workflow
- Users can track both beginning and end times for processing
- Automatic detection of duplicate patient profiles at order entry
Highly Customizable Lab Reports
LigoLab’s LIS software solution enables users to create fully customizable and intelligent lab reports with the platform’s high-performance reporting and distribution engines that feature rule-based formatting and uniform presentation. The report generation engine supports full rich-text capability (format, size, colors, highlights, tables, bullet points, etc.), as well as images, diagrams, annotation, macros, conditional rules, dictation to text, and CAP cancer protocol templates. The distribution engine automates the distribution of lab reports that fulfill the customer’s preference. Delivery options include a 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 preference
Remote Access for Orders and Results Retrieval
Medical practitioners and laboratory specialists can leverage the LigoLab Connect feature that enables remote interaction between the client and the laboratory. Users can receive and search for reports, pull cumulative charts, fax out of the LIS system, and gain access to all patient-related scanned documents.
- Free and easy to install with an unlimited license for downloads
- A secure internet application that serves as an extension of the lab business
- No third-party outreach or middleware software is needed
- It can be laboratory-branded with company logos and other branding elements
- Reduces incoming customer service calls with self-service tools for inventory management and access to scanned documents
Direct-to-Consumer Lab Testing Portal
The TestDirectly Direct-to-Consumer Lab Testing Portal removes manual order entry and follow-up bottlenecks and creates a streamlined digital lab workflow for specimen collection, lab testing, and reporting that boosts testing capacity and improves turnaround times.
- Integration with all LIS system and lab billing systems resulting in efficient laboratory management reporting
- Increased testing accessibility that opens new revenue streams
- The patient self-registers and schedules the collection appointment
- Support for live insurance eligibility checks
- Specimen barcoding and sample tracking support
- Report delivery via email, SMS, portal, or interface
- Automated result notification for patients via email and/or SMS
- Real-time results and analytics for the patient, provider, and all other stakeholders
- Support for all direct-to-consumer lab testing collection workflows
LigoLab’s informatics platform features an open architecture and a best-in-class interface engine that functions with maximum interoperability, enabling LigoLab’s LIS system software to connect to a majority of analyzers (over 500 different instrument types), EMRs/EHRs (connected with every certified Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Health Record), and third-party services with ease. This includes internal networking (LIS/RCM) as well as connections with external networks of healthcare organizations, such as lab billing services, the Tumor Registry, and state reporting agencies.
LigoLab’s proprietary interface engine supports all standard interchange protocols, including FHIR, HL7, XML, X12, CSV, PDF, Flat File, ASTM, and Restful API.
LigoLab’s LIS System Automates Complex Processes and Reduces Human Intervention
The highly skilled engineers at LigoLab have designed a rule engine for the LIS system that gives users the ability to substitute inefficient and manual laboratory processes with conditional rules and actions that can be built without custom scripts, and that fire when certain conditions are met. These rules and actions are then strung together as decision-support trees by the automation engine that also resides within the LIS system.
- An agile platform that automates laboratory processes so that staff may be reassigned to more productive roles
- High-visibility and real-time lab workflow queues for clinical data
- Flexible rule engine for optimal automation
- Multi-layered lab workflow management control
Regulatory Compliance That’s Not Labor-Intensive
To minimize compliance risk, LigoLab offers a variety of specialized tools that reduce both audit risk and potential revenue loss without being labor-intensive. Users can effectively operate within the guidelines of CAP, CLIA, HIPAA, and other regulatory bodies to mitigate compliance concerns and avoid penalties.
- Compliance-conscious lab workflow and reports
- Ad hoc data query capabilities
- Support for all established regulatory protocols
- Compliance verification at every stage
A Safe and Secure LIS System Platform
LigoLab offers advanced security and privacy features that protect both the laboratory and its patient and specimen data.
- Automatic log-off for user inactivity
- A robust and searchable audit trail that logs every activity
- User permission and visibility control
Comprehensive and Flexible LIS System Solutions for Your Laboratory
Dealing with multiple software vendors, systems, middleware, and interfaces in your lab is more than just frustrating, it’s costly. These legacy arrangements lead to information silos, inconsistent data, inefficient lab workflow, and ultimately less profitability.
Fortunately, there is a cost-effective alternative for lab operators who are tired of finger-pointing and understand how an end-to-end laboratory information system software that covers all laboratory departments can be a game-changer for their operations and finances.
As a comprehensive and enterprise-grade LIS software solution, the LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Informatics Platform™ includes modules for anatomic pathology (anatomic pathology LIS), clinical laboratory (pathology information system), molecular diagnostics (molecular LIS), laboratory billing ((lab RCM), and direct-to-consumer lab testing (TestDirectly.com), all on a single integrated infrastructure that’s infinitely configurable and that supports every department, role, and case.