LIMS or Laboratory information system or Laboratory management system is a software based system used to manage all modern’s laboratory operations. Most of these systems manage the order entry, result in entry, patient check in, specimen processing, patient demographics etc. This system mainly enables the technicians to enter results into a database that is accessible to authorised users when a patient is tested at the hospital, clinics etc.
For treating & diagnosing patients, the patient lab test result is being linked to individuals electronic health records which provides additional information to clinicians. In our previous articles, we explain Hospital information system, Virtual reality, Radiology, PACS, Artificial intelligence in healthcare, IoT technology, Doctor-patient relationship etc in detail. In this article, we are going to explain Laboratory information system benefits, uses etc in detail.
Laboratory Information Management System Introduction:
Today’s with emerging technology, everything is going to be digital, so why should remain behind in generating lab results electronically. The main aim of generating reports digitally is to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of unnecessary & duplicate tests. Let’s have a look at some basics of the laboratory information management system.
Modules & Functions of LIS:
Whenever we go to market, we got confused because of the availability of lots of software. Each has its own different functions may vary from manufacturers to manufacturers. Like many LIMS system are modular in nature i.e. made up of series of mini-software units that work together. Some explain their modules according to the specific laboratory section while some will identify according to the specific function.
Following modules based on the laboratory section are:
- Blood Bank
- Clinical chemistry
Following functions of LIS are:
- Result Management
- Sample/Specimen Management
- Quality control of analysers & instruments
- Patient demographics
- Order Management
- Integrate with HIS & other systems
Need of Laboratory information system:
In our minds, one question always arises that what is the need of this system, what happens if we do not use it. To justify this, we highlight some points which indicate the need for these systems. In today’s digital world, hospitals and clinics becoming more smarter with healthcare products like LISTree-Laboratory Information System etc.
It’s not difficult to justify LIS for the laboratory because it often pays for itself and prove to be an asset as setting up in the hospitals & clinics. Following of advantages of LIMS are:
- More work, less paper: Lab staff focus more on patient care rather than wasting time in doing paperwork.
- Enhanced Patient Safety: With the better access to results, faster TAT’s, fully enforced quality checks, patient safety is improved.
- Improved turn-around times: Reduces the work times from hours to minutes by automating manual processes.
- Volume & capacity increase: With the existing set of analysers & instruments and with the better turn-around times, test runs & patient volume get an increase.
Laboratory information systems will reduce the human error by transmitting the numbers directly from the analysers to the patient record, EMRs etc and shows accurate & traceable results. Following of its benefits are:
- Generate & send reports
- Eliminate lost data
- Generate invoices
- Retrieve data quickly
- Access archived data
- Reduce error
- Enhance quality control
- Verify data at input
- Avoid missed deadlines
- Avoid the embarrassment of false results
(iii) Client Satisfaction:
- Electronically notify customers
- Invoice customers for good job done
- To meet customer needs it configure reports
- Track productivity
- Increase throughput
- Document lab output
- Spend Time effectively
- Interact directly with LIMS developer
In most laboratories, the main application of LIS is sample management & sharing of results with users or clients. Let’s have a look at its following applications:
- Management & Calibration of instruments
- Manage workflow of laboratory personnel
- Quality control to display warnings in case of the wrong method adopted
- Document control on issuance & validity
- Audit Trails
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