November 30, 2021

An alternative to a Lab Information System (LIS)

A Laboratory Information System (LIS) can be very effective for managing point-of-care workflows in laboratories and acute care settings, however,…

A Laboratory Information System (LIS) can be very effective for managing point-of-care workflows in laboratories and acute care settings, however, implementing one in primary care is problematic. LIS software is large in scale and relatively complex. It goes far beyond the specific point-of-care testing (POCT) needs of a primary care practice.

The key issues with implementing an LIS in primary care settings are:

  • High cost
  • They are bloated with features that are unnecessary in a primary care environment
  • Requirement for new hardware
  • They are complex, meaning a sound knowledge of IT is required
  • Lengthy implementation period
  • Requirement for project resources
  • Ongoing maintenance overhead
  • It takes a long time to garner an ROI
  • There is no option to try it on a single device or location first of all, allowing you to scale up scale up as your needs change
  • Staff require detailed training to use them

Together, these issues make a laboratory information system unfeasible for use in primary care. This is because they were not intended to be used in this setting.

Laboratory Information System: Not Built for Primary Care

Ultimately, LIS are ineffective in primary care as they are built for the wrong service model. As acute care testing is conducted across in-patient or out-patient settings, the workflow of POC testing in acute care is distinct from that of primary care. In acute care, specimens can take anything from hours to weeks to be followed up and, as a result, the corresponding tools for automating this workflow are not designed for speed. This does not work for POC workflows in primary care, where specimens must be followed up immediately in order to advance each appointment.

LabDaq, Orchard Software Harvest and Sunquest are some of the most common LIS utilized in acute care across the United States. However, using any of these options in a primary care practice is tantamount to cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. They are far too feature bloated and complicated, to be effective in a physician’s office laboratory. The analytic capabilities, decision support and customization options that they feature are beneficial in an acute care setting. These features are – for the most part – unnecessary for POCT in a primary care setting, where lab work is effectively being conducted by nurses, MAs and even physicians themselves. Also, they do not solve the specific pain-points, such as workflow efficiency, that primary care practices experience.

Furthermore, an LIS includes features such as patient check-in, order entry, specimen processing and patient demographics. While these features may be needed in laboratory settings, they overlap the EHR functionality in primary care.

So, what’s the answer? Get our ebook “Why you don’t need an LIS”.

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Finally, The Primary Care LIS Alternative is Here

Despite the overheads involved with providing POCT in primary care, with or without an LIS, it is still a necessary service for practices to provide. Relaymed is a new product category, which brings the benefits of lab workflow automation to the primary care market. As a result, our solution is built with simplicity, speed and affordability in mind.

The automation of device connectivity eliminates the labor-intensive side of POCT, meaning members of staff do not have to be available to input results manually. Run a test from a POC device and results are available instantly in the EHR, where data is then stored with 100% accuracy and security. This markedly improves workflow efficiency and accuracy while remaining simple and affordable. This is what’s important to primary care.

All the additional LIS features that a primary care practice needs are covered by Relaymed. For instance, analytical reports and digital QC logs can be produced when site reviews come around, or to re-certify with CLIA. With all the other great features that Relaymed brings to the table (such as QC logs and abnormality flags) as well as guaranteed EHR accuracy, you will always remain compliant with regulatory bodies such as CLIA when running both waived and non-waived tests.

By utilizing modern cloud-based technologies, we are able to eradicate the massive expenses of hardware and implementation that come with a laboratory information system. This allows us to offer Relaymed on affordable monthly subscription plans, without compromising the security of your data.

Further Reading

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