The clinical laboratory’s reliance on robust, interconnected information systems has grown precipitously in the last decade. What could be called a “traditional” laboratory information system (LIS) has grown from an isolated, rudimentary platform to a fully networked, Web-enabled system of information modules and electronic relationships.
Whether your laboratory’s IS is stand alone or part of a larger, facility-wide IS, many commonalities have grown from conveniences to necessities. Today’s LIS is called upon to help manage patient information, including admissions details, test ordering, and specimen typing. Clearly, the ability to electronically track a patient’s treatment progress, is of great benefit. Further, elements such as clinical decision support, lab order/ICD code comparisons, QA parameters, workflow management, and reporting/compliance mechanisms provide transparency into the entirety of lab operations.
Lackluster satisfaction is not uncommon among LIS users, perhaps due to the lack of control many laboratories have over LIS decision making.
Large-scale IS vendors Cerner, Epic, Meditech, and Sunquest have strong showings in this arena, but several other systems, including those from CPSI, SCC Soft Computer, and Orchard Software have demonstrated interest as well.
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