Across the world, laboratories are struggling with unprecedented amounts of data and constantly looking for effective methods to manage it. The rapid development of technology has led to the modernization of old-school laboratories. Regulatory requirements have evolved over the years, and laboratories must store substantial amounts of data, automate workflows, and meet ever-changing requirements for data storage. Therefore, laboratories are now using sophisticated data management and quality assurance tools, such as Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIS).
The Significance of LIS in the Modern Health Care Industry
More than 19 terabytes of clinical data are generated by the healthcare industry alone each year, and this does not even begin to cover other types of healthcare data. A LIS is an information system designed and structured to store and manage medical-related information in laboratories.
An effective LIS serves as an extension of your team, keeping track of all sample information, automating workflows, and ensuring the quality of results that are generated daily.
The research community is continuously striving to improve technology (including the most recent ones) and make it as reliable as possible – and one relatively new innovation gaining popularity is cloud-based LIS.
A cloud-based lab information system is a subscription-based system hosted in the cloud and can be accessed over the Internet. The vendor fulfills all maintenance requirements, so installing any additional hardware or software is not necessary. Subscribers are often able to select the features they would like to include in their LIS, allowing them to develop a product tailored to their laboratory’s specific needs.
As we now understand the importance of LIS within the healthcare industry, let’s move on to the benefits of implementing this technology.
Using the laboratory information system, you can manage tasks and monitor their completion, which is beneficial for accelerating your workplace’s productivity. Duties can be automatically assigned to the appropriate personnel, samples can be monitored throughout the cycle, and task statuses can be tracked via a LIS. Additionally, the program provides real-time alerts. As a result, operating costs are reduced, and internal laboratory processes are accelerated.
Ensures Compliance with Regulatory Requirements
By using a laboratory information system, you will be able to ensure compliance with government and regulatory requirements and maintain quality levels. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires an audit trail for all lab activities. A healthcare facility must keep track of these activities whenever records are created, modified, or deleted. The LIS assists you in maintaining a read-only audit trail to ensure compliance with FDA regulations. The system maintains a real-time record of all laboratory activities.
Using electronic signatures for authenticating critical laboratory activities contributes to your organization’s compliance with 21 CFR Part 11. There are several regulatory standards that LIS can facilitate compliance with, including HIPAA, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIAs), Good Automated Manufacturing Practices (GAMPs), Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs), ISO 15189, ISO/IEC 17025:2017, and ISO 20387.
Improved Productivity, Efficiency, and Analytical Accuracy
A LIS enables a laboratory to go completely paperless by automating laboratory processes, increasing throughput, and assuring data integrity. By eliminating manual processes, turnaround times are reduced. Using a LIS assists in retrieving information quickly for regulatory audits, reduces human error, and prevents loss of data and erroneous reporting. Additionally, LISs prevent the use of out-of-date testing instruments, thus ensuring data accuracy and quality.
Automatic Exchange of Data
A laboratory information system stores and maintains data in a LIS database. A significant benefit of LIS is the ease with which data can be shared between departments and organizations. Having quick access to documents and files facilitates better decision-making.
The automated sharing of the information provided by this software contributes to improving clinic processes and internal operations.
Elimination of Human Errors
Even the most focused and diligent laboratory worker could make mistakes when performing manual measurements, collecting samples, or transcribing data. Whenever there is a large amount of data to be captured, there is a high potential for errors, which may result in inaccuracies.
Laboratory information systems are designed to be integrated with the instruments in your facility and to capture data accurately and automatically. Even if you need to record observations manually, the LIS allows the results to be shared across departments for review and verification.
Ensure Effective Logistics Management
With LIS’s efficient logistics management solution, each sample is given a unique barcode, and the processing center is notified once the samples have been registered at the collection center. This allows resources, materials, and reagents to be allocated to the samples before they reach the processing facility.
In a laboratory, inventory management is a crucial component of day-to-day operations. A LIS is used to manage the stock of supplies and reagents. A LIS may generate an automatic reorder notification when stock levels fall below a predetermined level. Having these alerts in place facilitates laboratory workflows and prevents any delays caused by the non-availability of stock. You can also use a LIS to keep detailed and current information about your equipment and be alerted when it is time for an inspection or repair.
Laboratory information systems ensure accurate data maintenance. The LIS can assist you in creating multiple types of reports, including management and efficiency reports. A LIS can also generate reports that help lab experts make informed decisions.
Whenever test results indicate values that can threaten a patient’s life, every minute counts. A good LIS includes a panic alert capability that sends an automated alert to the physician who has referred the patient. It allows doctors to respond to critically ill patients immediately.
A laboratory can improve its operational efficiency by implementing a laboratory information system. A LIS saves time by eliminating the need to log and maintain data manually, providing an effective means of managing data. This leads to a decrease in human error and improves decision-making based on more accurate data. It is also equipped with an audit trail, which reduces the time required for manual audits.
LISs are also most beneficial when dealing with large amounts of data requiring batch processing. Moreover, it covers a variety of compliance standards that assist laboratories in meeting their safety, regulatory, and privacy requirements.
To conclude, medical and scientific organizations can significantly benefit from the use of a LIS. Modern LIS can transform how laboratories function, providing lab members with a greater sense of control over their work.