There is no denying the importance and value of LIS (Lab Information System) software in the modern medical world. It provides greater efficiency, convenience and safety as well as expanding the capabilities of a medical lab. There are differences between LIS software products available, however, and choosing the right one is a decision that will greatly impact the efficiency of your lab. There are some things that all LIS systems should be able to do, and there are other key features to look for that will separate the best from the rest.
Basic LIS System Functions
In it’s most basic form, an LIS system should capture lab data, whether it is typed in by a technician or collected from a connected device like a blood pressure cuff or an EKG machine. As software, it should also offer the ability to analyze and share the collected data with other medical providers and patients. LIS software should be secure so that it can protect patient confidentiality at all times.
One function of truly top-notch LIS software is customization. Labs have different needs based on size, specialty, clientele and affiliation. Often a one-size-fits-all software package will fall short of providing a truly effective solution. With a software package that can be customized and adjusted, a lab can apply their own specific rules for data collection and analysis as well as creating their own filters for data export. Custom fields such as “Patient notes” can be very valuable in helping to understand the raw data when it comes time to analyze it.
Great LIS products will be able to interface with a wide variety of computerized medical devices to receive input. In an ideal world, the software should also have mobile compatibility, so that data could be collected outside the lab and sent directly into the system, creating a “Mobile lab” capability.
In terms of export compatibility, the more systems the software can work with, the better. There are times when it’s beneficial to export to other LIS software programs, spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel, or email. If the system provides billing information (another handy feature), it would be helpful if it could export directly to financial programs and invoices.
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