Category: Blog

07 Aug 2017
Interoperability between Health System

Achieving Seamless Interoperability in Healthcare – from Concept to Reality

What can we achieve with seamless interoperability in healthcare?

The era of digital healthcare is indeed revolutionizing the care landscape. Data- and technology-driven solutions are enabling every member of the care network to deliver a patient-centric experience. However, despite this tremendous leap, the care landscape is still facing challenges in simplifying care for both the patient and the provider.

Innumerable tools and solutions are facilitating multiple aspects of the care process – right from access to care and diagnostics to continued treatment. But these brilliant innovations often remain in silos, with almost zero scope for exchange of data across the various healthcare systems. This lack of interaction nullifies all the potential of these innovations.
This ability to communicate between systems, exchange precious data, and interpret them accurately is an essential enabler to complete the transition into digital healthcare, and is called interoperability.

What can we achieve with seamless interoperability in healthcare?
When devices, systems, and tools effortlessly share information across an interoperable interface, every care partner – from the patient, care and provider to the lab technician and pharmacist – receives the same version of the shared data regardless of the disparate technological environment of each stakeholder.

This capability delivers immense advantages:

1. Easy, secure, and real-time access to in-depth patient data

A critical enabler of delivering timely and efficient care across the healthcare system, interoperability eliminates duplication of work.

2. Supporting patient safety

Many reports have indicated that more than 50% of medication errors arise during care transition; hence, effective interoperability between all the care points ensures continuity of care and zero scope for error.

3. Effortless collaboration

Interoperability facilitates delivering a well-coordinated care, with increased clinical and business collaboration across the entire care network.

4. Efficient adoption of best practices across the landscape

extensive data insights from a well-connected and interoperable ecosystem help care partners to assess the process and derive optimal strategies and best practices.

5. Cost efficiency and high quality

With interoperability removing many administrative and data validation burdens, providers and other care partners can focus on delivering technology-enabled values to patients at a lower cost and high quality.

Thus, interoperability between every element of the healthcare ecosystem brings together three core pillars of the landscape – people, process, and technology. It enables seamless information capture, exchange, interpretation, and application of data across the landscape.

10 Nov 2016

How Laboratory Information System Helps in Tracking Samples Across Multi Centers

5 compelling reasons why automation is more than the much-advertised reduced need for manpower and time.

Laboratory services is not just about sample collection, samples processing and results reporting; sample tracking and management is as big a responsibility. Intelligent sample management is not just the present but also the future of laboratories for effective functioning.

While you will find a lot of information on how Laboratory Information System (LIS) is useful in achieving different sets of tasks that it was designed to perform, we would like to offer you some key insights on sample management.In this post, we take you through 5 ways that LIS can help in sample tracking and management especially in a multi-center scenario.

1. Barcode Generation – The Magic Bricks to Efficient Sampling

With LIS implemented at your laboratory, every collected sample can be allotted a barcode right at the point of collection, which is unique to that sample. A barcode scanner at any point is all that is needed to track the sample. So, even when the sample is collected at one center and transported to another center at a different location for processing and further transported to another place for storage, the barcode on the vacationers will be the tracker. Every scanner that scans the barcode on a particular sample will save its location under that unique barcode, making the barcode the digital footprint of that sample and thereby the patient’s too.

The pre-printed barcodes can be assigned to different tests for the same patient and thereby store all pathological information about that patient under a single visit ID. This will aid in easy information retrieval as well as reports collations and correlations.

2. Reduction In Lost or Mislabeled Samples

Sample management includes managing samples right from the point of sample collection till samples are discarded. Since the barcode – the unique ID of the sample is auto-generated and not hand written,the chances of wrong labeling are highly unlikely. By attaching a printer to the computer terminal at the sample collection point, all the codes can be printed on stickers, which can be stuck to the vacationers right at the point of collection. This will in effect erase any possibility of mislabeled samples.

Scanning these vacationers at every point of entry and exit till storage or incineration happens, means chances of a sample being lost are negligible. This means better reports on sample tracking and archival resulting in better reputation and more patient returns.

3. Easy Retrieval From The Archives

Once the sample’s initial processing is done and the initial reports are dispensed, the sample goes into cold storage till further research or reporting is called for. This is where, traditional manual systems becomes cumbersome to retrieve. Most laboratory employees complain that retrieving a sample is the single most time taking and cumbersome task they perform in their daily routines. LIS practically erases this time wastage. With barcodes and unique IDs stored on the server along with the location, owing to scanning of the codes at every entry and exit, the exact location of the sample is stored on the server up to the last details including the rack number. With the power of LIS, this can be accessed from any center irrespective of whether the sample is in that center or elsewhere.

4. Easy Diagnostic, Clinical & Research Data Access From Anywhere

LIS enables storing of not just location of the sample but also the related diagnostic, clinical and research data about the sample under one unique code. This data is stored on the LIS server under the assigned unique code. LIS makes it extremely simple to not only retrieve the sample physically but also retrieve information about that sample to collate and/or correlate for clinical or research purposes. And LIS also makes the information accessible from any center irrespective of where it is located.

5. Helps In Efficient Use Of Storage Space

LIS not just helps in effectively labeling, categorizing, storing and retrieving the samples but also helps in utilizing the cold storage area better. When all these processes are completed through LIS,the software also gives an alert to inform that the sample is no longer fit to be processed. It is an alert for the diagnostic lab employees to clear out these samples from the freezer and to make space for the new ones. This is an extremely useful feature since it makes the lab operations cost effective and helps avoid investment on purchasing additional freezers when there is potential to optimize the existing storage space while helping you prevent processing un-stable samples.

LIS can be extremely effective, covering up for gaps in the manual system, as far as sample management is concerned, but users can come up with many more ways in which the software can be used even more efficiently.

25 Oct 2016

How To Choose Cost Effective And User-Friendly Laboratory Information System

7 tips on getting the perfect lab automation system for your laboratory

So you have done your research on what changes automation will bring to your laboratory operations and are convinced to get a good Laboratory Information System implemented. The most important factors that make an LIS desirable are a solution that has rich features while being cost effective, user friendly and intuitive interface and the ability of the system to scale to your growing business.

Today we take you through some important factors that will help you choose the perfect software solution for you and your lab:

1. Define Limits of Your Automation

There are a lot of options available as far as automating your laboratory is concerned. Depending on your investment limit, the change acceptability amid your staff and your confidence on automating your processes, make a choice! Take a wise decision looking at your strengths and areas of improvements; never compromise on features and pick an LIS solution with incomplete modules because it is cheap. This decision can prove to be quite expensive in the future.

2. Reduce Customization As Much As Possible

No software will come custom made for your laboratory because you will have some of your unique processes, which will need customization in your LIS. After deciding how much automation you need, next in line is to define how much customization you require. Some customization may need additional investment, so make sure you choose a software that can customize the software to match your needs and processes.

3. Erase Hardware Cost

Implementation of the LIS and the associated costs especially the hardware installations and maintenance come to a hefty amount. With a growing business, one cost that will definitely keep increasing is the hardware and associated maintenance costs. Better the business, more is the data generated and more is the space required to store that data. The best bet to reducing hardware costs is to go for Cloud. Buying Cloud based LIS will eliminate cost of not just hardware but also expensive IT resources to maintain the servers.

4. Keep an Eye on the Implementation Timeline

The total implementation is considered to be complete when not just installation of the software is done but also once a thorough training of the staff and initial hand holding is completed. Timelines with target dates for each level of implementation and the cross checking of each level needs to be considered and discussed with complete clarity before the purchase decision is made.

5. Make Sure Training is a Part of the Package

A critical part of successful LIS implementation is the software being used smoothly by your staff. On a practical note, you or other pathologists at the lab will be using the software at your diagnostic center; but not as much as your staff. It is their routine that will undergo major changes with the decision to automate your lab. While choosing the Laboratory Information System make sure that the operational complexities of the software is an easy maze for your staff to wade through. Most vendors provide on-site or over the web training but choose the software partner considering the IT proficiency of your staff so you get the best possible support. Also make sure that the training is part of the package and your staff gets trained thoroughly by your IT vendor.

6.Talk About Post-Sales Technical Support Too

Bought. Installed. Trained. Implemented. What about an unforeseen hiccup after implementation? Every staff would have understood the technicalities in a different way and there could be a hiccup owing to wrong use or a situation that was not a market reality while implementing the software. It is crucial that technical, functional and training support should be available post-sales. Be sure to negotiate a profitable association for the laboratory while considering support post-sales. Also be sure to check about the regular software upgrades.

7. Mobile Applications

Automation should not just help you male the processes faster but should allow user to save time in best of ways. One of them is availability of data on the go. LIS which not only takes care of the process but also makes helps pathologists approve reports anywhere, anytime can prove to be extremely useful.

While these are some basic points that could help you with your LIS purchase decision, you may also want to check credibility of the partner and not insist on cost being the only factor for your decision as it could hurt your business, revenue and credibility in the long run.

12 Oct 2016
Tips to manage and run cloud based Laboratory Information System Effectively

5 Simple Tips to Manage And Run Cloud Based Laboratory Information System Effectively

Scale up laboratory operations effectively with these simple tips.

You made a smart business move by automating your laboratory. Then you made a smarter move by erasing the need for any kind of in-house hardware contraptions by implementing a Cloud based LIS. However, are you still wondering if there is more that can be done to run your laboratory effectively? The answer is a resounding Yes.

Here we share with you smart tips to manage your Cloud based Laboratory Information System (LIS) more effectively:

1. Get A Cloud-Based Service Desk In Place

So you have a website and your LIS is on Cloud. Are they connected? When most of your potential visitors show a behavioral pattern of visiting your website first, before heading over to your lab, why not make the website interactive? Train a couple of employees to man your cloud-based service desk, which means have a virtual service desk where your customers are. Just like you have a service desk at your laboratory to assist your customers at the premises, assist them while they visit your website too.

This Cloud-based service desk can do live chat with your customers, help them if they need any assistance, follow-up in case the customers log out of the page abruptly etc.

Also,features such as patient portals and customer portals empower the users to download report through the website making them completely independent.

2. Go Mobile

The biggest advantage that Cloud-based servers provide a laboratory is the ease of mobility. Since the data is stored at a remote location and is not bound by the constraints of a physical hardware on the premises, investing on a mobile version of your laboratory’s website or even an App is a good idea. You can take patient satisfaction to another level when you offer your patients and potential patients the ease to reach or access their health information on the go.

With a virtual service desk in place, going mobile would mean more and better interactions, increased patient satisfaction and higher footfalls.

3. Ease Customer Experience Through Common ULID

Use of LIS allows allotting Unique Laboratory ID (ULID) which means any patient you ever had will have a unique number allotted to them. This unique patient ID will be available in the LIS and all the information about the patient – demographic as well as clinical–can beaccessed through this ID.

If implemented across all centers, the ULID concept combined with the flexibility of Cloud-based LIS allows your patients to walk into any of your centers and use the services, without registering again. The patient only needs to give her ULID to the service desk attendant and the staff can simply log into the LIS to access patient information. The patient information can then be updated by the staff at the center and these updated diagnostic records can be accessed from any other location in future.

4. Have The Most Effective Meetings

While there is technology in place to conduct meetings between people from different locations, Cloud-based LIS effectively helps access any data from any location as long as their login has access rights to that data. This ensures faster exchange of information resulting in overall increased speed of operations of the laboratory.

5. Ease The Implementation & Audit of Quality Indicators

Quality indicators are, undoubtedly, the lifelines of a laboratory. The BI tool is just what you need to moderate the activities in your lab and optimize performance. Be it monitoring sample workflow processing, number of patient visits, inventory flow, cash flow, consultant performance, overall business fluctuations over a period or any other business metrics that you care about.

You can develop standard quality indicators, key performance indicators and implement them across all the units using Cloud-based LIS. The Cloud-based LIS also allows collating and comparing results and progress from any location offering access to real time data.

While opting for Cloud-based LIS has its obvious benefits, there is a lot more that you can get out of it once you identify and track your key business metrics.

12 Oct 2016

6 Reasons Why NOT Having Your Server In-house is a Good Idea

Benefits of having cloud based laboratory information system.

The myths surrounding data storage on Cloud are many. Most of us have preconceived notions regarding data safety and security, data vulnerability, storage, data retrieval& transfer etc. However, what we fail to remember is that data storage on Cloud is extremely reliable and robust with most banks and financial institutions using it seamlessly. Therefore, it is about time that the healthcare fraternity embraces Cloud wholeheartedly to explore and take complete advantage of this cutting edge technology solution.

Today, we take a peek into the most evident advantages of having your Laboratory Information System on Cloud and what makes it one of the smartest business choices you will ever make:

1. No Hassle in data Accessibility

In this age of evidence-based medicine, data accessibility is of paramount importance as far as effective patient care is concerned. Cloud-based LIS makes data accessibility much easier as compared to the LIS, which is located in on-site servers. Since the data is stored on the Cloud, information from multiple centers can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Cloud-based LIS makes it easy for data to be accessed from any location or any device through secure logins thereby speeding up the whole process of pathological deductions and decisions leading to faster report turn around.

2. Your Data Remains Ultra Safe

One of the major concerns in a laboratory information system is the security of the patient data that is generated on a daily basis and stored on the servers. Cloud-based LIS takes care of this perfectly. The data in the Cloud-based LIS is stored in encrypted form that has high security levels and cannot be accessed in usable form by anyone other than authorized personnel with access rights. With practically no server downtime as compared to the on-site servers, Cloud-based LIS relieves the user of any operational problems and data security issues that result from server downtime.

3. Reduced IT Requirements

A Cloud-based LIS means that the servers are off-site and all the costs associated with the hardware installation and the associated maintenance is nullified. The easy accessibility associated with Cloud based LIS also makes it simple to add users, centers, sections, services etc. to the master log. This means you don’t have to go hunting for the in-house IT team; and anyone who has the login with administrator rights can do it easily. You effectively save additional manpower cost spent on maintaining a big IT team to maintain the server, add/ edit the master logs and related activities.

4. Staggered Investments

Cloud-based LIS gives the laboratory owner the option of not buying a large server at the onset and thereby blocking up money. It takes away the risk of projecting the growth of the lab correctly and buying a server that will be able to scale and handle the data and operations load of that projected growth. Cloud-based LIS means the server space can be hired as and when the growth happens. There is no prior commitment and no blocked investment. Investment on server space only needs to happen when the need arises and that too, only as an added amount in the form of simple monthly utility fees.

5. Cost Effective

The most obvious reason why Cloud-based Laboratory Information System is a smart business choice is due to its cost effectiveness. As the servers are off-site, it requires no hardware installation and the resultant licensing fees, maintenance costs and the software updates that will keep happening life-long for the software can be cut out immediately. There is no cost of hardware either and only monthly utility fees is what you need to pay.

6. Practically Zero Maintenance

With no server within your premises you don’t need to worry about the safety of the server room, temperature maintenance, pest control, server downtime, software updates and other such factors. Fixed amounts as monthly utility fee will take care of all this for you.

Having a Cloud based LIS can smoothen your operations to a large extent. It makes automation a cost effective option and also leaves you with more time to focus on the core operations, and taking care of your patients.