Category Archive: Laboratory Information Systems (LIS)

Posted by Teresa Becker on

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It’s impossible to read healthcare news or articles or event attend a health-focused event without hearing the words “patient-centered care” or “patient experience”. In today’s world, we are experiencing a massive shift in how healthcare has been previously delivered, and it’s reshaping almost every facet of the healthcare system from top to bottom.

Every patient has different values, preferences, and desired health outcomes based on their unique background and experiences. According to a recent article on HealthHub, “Patient-centered care involves transforming the relationship between providers and patients from the traditional model, in which a care provider prescribes the same treatment for most patients with similar diagnoses or conditions, into a patient-provider partnership that considers treatment options based on a patient’s unique concerns, preferences, and values.”

While many labs would believe they are removed from the patient experience, it’s simply not true. In fact, no matter which part of the healthcare system you belong, your work ultimately impacts the patient for better or for worse. In a recent Becker’s Healthcare article entitled, “10 Guiding Principles for Patient-Centered Care”, it states that:

All team members are considered caregivers. “Under this principle, everyone in the workforce, from housekeeping staff to the CEO, is part of patients’ care experience. Regardless of one’s role, each person is expected to put the patient first. To create a patient-centered culture, MSHA has patient-centered care training for new employees.”

Labs play a critical role in the patient experience as every test that’s run could dictate the patient’s future. The timing of the lab tests is important, the outcome of the tests is important, the delivery of the results is important, and the reporting that the referring physician receives is important.

3 Ways Your Lab Plays a Vital Role

No matter the size of your lab, the type of tests you run, or the number of staff you employ, if your lab provides assistance to one or many healthcare systems, then your lab plays a vital role in the patient experience. Below are 3 ways your lab can play the role of a positive difference maker in a patient’s healthcare journey:

  1. Ensure Everyone’s Voice is Heard

While you or your peers may oversee the entirety of lab operations and be responsible for quality and other measures, often times technicians and others working in the lab have firsthand insight into processes that can be optimized. In a lab where preciseness, quality, efficiency, volume, and timing all matter greatly, it’s important to find every area across lab operations that can be improved. And what better place to look for guidance than your employees?

Lab technicians, operations managers, and others in your lab may have valuable opinions and reasons to suggest new ways for your lab to do business. For example, perhaps one of your technicians notices that a step is being repeated and isn’t necessary. Or maybe the reports are created by your reporting solution, but aren’t delivered to the referring physician in the most timely manner. By allowing every lab employee to speak up and raise concerns or suggestions, you are empowering your lab staff, and thereby improving the end results for both referring physicians, as well as patients. And maybe even your lab’s own bottom line.

  1. Provide Intuitive & Actionable Information – Not Just Results

Your referring physicians see upwards of 10 patients a day – often times, even more than that. Because their time is in such demand, the more readable your reports and intuitive your data and results, the better your referring physicians will be able to help the patient. As a lab, you can create beautiful, easy to interpret reports by using a LIMS system like Pathagility that can help your lab determine the types of tests and reports you need and help determine the algorithms to process the interpretive reporting. Remember: the better the reports, the better the diagnosis or recommendation, and the more satisfied (and healthier!) the patient.

  1. Focus on Turnaround Times (TaTs) of Lab Tests

There’s nothing worse than getting lab work done and not hearing results back for days or weeks on end. What’s worse, when a patient calls their physician to find out the results, they are told they don’t have an answer and aren’t sure when they’ll hear. As a patient, you can relate to the frustration and fear that creates in the patient.

For your lab, you play an enormous part in improving this step in the patient experience, and ensuring all systems are integrated across your lab is a key element. As a lab executive, you need a central laboratory reporting solution (such as a LIMS) that will adapt across any type of test, device or laboratory. In addition, today’s advanced labs need a platform that can easily integrate with other existing systems such as EMRs, LIMS, billing systems, lab instruments, and middleware to ensure that all data is available in one single, secure location.

Labs should strive to ensure the patient remains the primary focus above all else, with the absolute goal of delivering premier care.

For more information on how your lab can gain complete control, check out these recent Pathagility resources:

Ebook: 5 Ways Lab Tech Will Change in the Next 5 Years

3 Ways Tox Labs Are Innovating

How Top PGx Labs Are Utilizing Tech – and How to Keep Up

To learn more about how Pathagility can help your lab establish best practices, request a 30-minute demo.

Posted by Teresa Becker on

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According to TechTarget’s definition, a “laboratory information system (LIS) is computer software that processes, stores and manages data from all stages of medical processes and tests.” While the definition may sound generic, LIS systems are critical to today’s laboratories as they are essentially the nucleus of all data, tests, procedures, and processes within the laboratory. Without an LIS that’s properly integrated across all other lab systems, information is siloed and processes are uncontrolled. 

Labs, like all other kinds of businesses, have to maintain a competitive edge in order to keep up with the evolving world of healthcare. If a lab doesn’t provide referring physicians or end patients with accurate and timely information, then they risk losing business to others in the market.

According to a recent article appearing on Digital Journal, “The demand for laboratory management systems has been rising rapidly across the world. The increased need for the improvement in laboratory competence and escalating demand for integrated healthcare information systems are driving the global laboratory information systems market significantly.”

In fact, according to the article, the Laboratory Information System Market stands to reach over $2 Billion by 2019 in the United States alone. That’s a whopping number, and a 7.70% increase during the period from 2013 and 2019, according to research conducted by Transparency Market Research (TMR).

Why is the LIS Market Growing so Rapidly?

Why is the LIS market growing so rapidly here in the United States – more so than it has in the past? In addition to the requirement for labs to remain competitive, there have been a growing number of life threatening diseases sweeping the nation, not to mention a growing number of individuals experiencing allergies and sicknesses. These sicknesses, diseases, and even genetic patterns make it incredibly important for labs to operate efficiently, and to identify trends and patterns, often times even before sickness or disease occurs.

In addition, the healthcare industry as a whole is becoming more and more mature with technology used at every turn with the goal of cutting costs, improving the patient experience, and reducing errors across the entire system. Traditionally, labs have lagged behind other functions in healthcare in their use of advanced technology, but the industry is realizing that labs are becoming more and more of an integral part of the entire healthcare process – and therefore, they need to become more innovative.

What Should Labs Looks for in an LIS?

Choosing an LIS or LIMS system can be a difficult task as there are many components to consider, from cost to flexibility to integrations and beyond. While the process can be overwhelming, our team at Pathagility has identified a few characteristics that are essential for long term success:

  1. Create a Central Data Environment

Your lab needs a central laboratory reporting solution that will adapt across any type of test, device or laboratory to provide your lab, referring physicians and patients with the enhanced reporting that innovative labs now require. In addition, today’s advanced labs need a platform that can easily integrate with other existing systems including EMRs, LIMS, billing systems, lab instruments, and middleware to ensure that all data is available in one single, secure location.

When all lab data is stored in a central environment, it allows lab staff to act quickly and with supreme accuracy when creating reports or compiling data for referring physicians or groups. With fewer interruptions, lab staff can stay focused on the important tasks before them. Platforms like Pathagility can provide complete visibility and improve efficiency by helping to manage workflows through a simple and easy-to-use interface.

  1. Reduce Costs & Improve Reporting

Advanced laboratories need the ability to adapt to changing technology and provide interpretive reporting across existing and emerging tests. Platforms like Pathagility, which can serve as a lab’s LIMS or Interpretive Reporting Software – or both, can dramatically increase the output while simplifying reporting. Out of the box, Pathagility provides “Case Types” for Toxicology, Pharmacogenetic (PGx), Anatomic Pathology (AP), Cystic Fibrosis, Wellness, Infectious Disease and other types of Molecular Diagnostic (MDx) testing.

  1. Improve Efficiency With Cloud Technology

Innovative labs are committed to leveraging new technology to help their teams work smarter, faster, and communicate better – both for the benefit of the lab, as well as the patient experience. These labs need complete visibility and improved communication across their workflows and processes.

If your lab is currently using multiple systems independently, consider consolidating or integrating technologies to allow for greater efficiency and communication across all lab technology. Platforms like Pathagility can be set-up as a stand-alone or to work in conjunction with existing systems to make all data visible in one location.


For more information on what characteristics your lab should consider when selecting an LIS or LIMS partner, check out these recent Pathagility resources:

The Evolution of the Lab

3 Ways Tox Labs Are Innovating

How Top PGx Labs Are Utilizing Tech – and How to Keep Up

To learn more about how Pathagility can help your lab establish best practices, request a 30-minute demo.

Posted by Teresa Becker on

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This morning, Pathagility announced a partnership with Advanced Genomics via a press release. Advanced Genomics is a San Antonio-based commercial lab specializing in pharmacogenetic testing. The lab was founded in 2014, and within its first year the lab had over 10,000 Pharmacogenetic patients served.

The lab needed a LIMS (Lab Information Management System) and reporting solution customized to fit its own internal processes and manage assorted and unique partner relationships. Additionally, this solution had to ensure legal compliance while generating meaningful customized reports for physicians and patients.

After thorough evaluation, the lab selected Pathagility as its LIMS and reporting partner. In general terms, Pathagility streamlines operations, allowing the company to better manage their lab partnerships, growing test offerings, federal testing, and large reaching clinical trials.

This news is incredibly exciting for our team as Advanced Genomics and many other labs like it are selecting Pathagility as their partner to help them scale and expand operations. If you’d like to read the press release in its entirety, you may access it here.

For more information on how your lab can take advantage of superior reporting and LIMS software, check out these recent Pathagility resources:

How Your Lab Can Play a Vital Role in Improving the Patient Experience

2016 Resolutions For the Advanced Laboratory

To learn more about how Pathagility can help your lab can keep up with the changing technology landscape, request a 30-minute demo.


Posted by Teresa Becker on

Across the nation, labs are facing the toughest financial squeeze of recent times. Simply said, lab managers are being asked to cut operating costs and operate their labs with smaller budgets during 2016 – and beyond. That makes it essential for savvy lab managers to stay current with the most effective techniques for cutting lab costs and managing shrinking lab budgets.

While the mission of the lab will always be to provide the highest quality patient care, the environment within which the lab operates is undergoing rapid regulatory and technological change. These include changes to reimbursement, test utilization based on patient outcomes, and new competition from non-traditional sources. All of these present new challenges to traditional budget planning.

Strategies for adjusting the lab operation to stay within your present and future budgets must not only include cutting costs, but maintaining quality.

In this blog post, we’ll examine 3 ways adopting a LIMS system can help your lab cut costs while improving efficiencies – all while ensuring patient care remains top priority.

  1. Faster & More Efficient Reporting

Lab data can be integrated into many electronic medical records that provide “summary reports” and “trends” to visualize patient data. However, these generic reports are not sufficient to manage complex tests or reporting that advanced labs increasingly require.

While there are many ways to improve output for physicians and increase the value a lab can provide, one way to immediately impact value while improving efficiency is to streamline reporting and increase the number of tests and case types that a lab’s reporting software can handle.

Advanced labs need the ability to adapt to changing technology and provide interpretive reporting across existing and emerging tests. Platforms like Pathagility – which can serve as a lab’s LIMS or Interpretive Reporting Software – or both, can dramatically increase the output while simplifying reporting.

  1. Connected & Integrated Technologies Across the Lab

Labs need to deliver reports and lab tests electronically, reliably, and efficiently to referring physicians or clients, all in a timely and affordable manner. Delivering in a competitive market is essential – especially when the patient’s well being is at stake.

In addition, labs need to gain the agility and control to deliver critical information on their terms and time schedule, connecting any device, software, and people – whether physicians, lab staff, or patient – with no barriers. Advanced labs are running their business in the cloud, with platforms that integrate across all technologies, reducing manual work and labor that can be costly and time consuming.

Today’s advanced labs need a platform that can easily integrate with their existing systems and interpret data from existing EMRs, LIMS, billing systems, lab instrumentation, and middleware systems; while affording them flexibility to report through multiple channels.

  1. Improved Turnaround Time (TAT) of Lab Tests & Reports

Innovative labs are committed to leveraging new technology to help their teams work smarter, faster, and communicate better – both for the benefit of the lab, as well as the patient experience. These labs need complete visibility and improved communication across their workflows and processes, which inevitably improve turnaround time.

Labs currently using multiple systems independently should consider consolidating technologies to allow for greater efficiency and communication across all lab technology. Platforms like Pathagility can be set-up as a stand-alone LIMS or work in conjunction with existing systems to make all data visible in one location.


For more information on how your lab cut costs while improving efficiencies, check out these recent Pathagility resources:

How Your Lab Can Play a Vital Role in Improving the Patient Experience

2016 Resolutions For the Advanced Laboratory

To learn more about how Pathagility can help your lab can keep up with the changing technology landscape, request a 30-minute demo.

 

Posted by mark on

Spring is naturally a time to freshen up and start new things.  In that spirit, we are launching a fresh, new pathagility.com!  Our team is inspired by start-up labs and existing laboratories that are developing new tests.  We know how challenging it can be.  We love to help by providing a cost effective Software-as-a-Service that feels like a custom systemWhy Pathagility you ask?  Out of the box, Pathagility provides “Case Types” for Toxicology, Infectious Disease (IFD), Pharmacogenetic (PGx), Anatomic Pathology (AP), Women’s Health and other types of Molecular Diagnostic (MDx) testing.  Case Types represent the data management and report generation surrounding a particular type of lab test.  Custom case types can be developed to support more specialized, proprietary tests.  Oh, and the entire system (not just the lab report) can be custom branded because we KNOW branding is important to labs.  We hope you’ll check out how it works and discover that Pathagility has the flexibility to serve as the LIMS or Interpretive Reporting Software or BOTH.  Another item worth reading if you are developing a new lab test is this case study called LIMS + Interpretive Reporting for Personalize Medicine.

We certainly look forward to your feedback.  Let us know if you have questions; and as the days start getting a little longer, we hope you enjoy the freshness and newness of spring…

Posted by mark on

Over the past few weeks, Pathagility has been a part of several written pieces on the Pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing market.  We appreciate this coverage and continue to be excited about the healthcare benefits of PGx testing – and our role in it.  Below are links to some of the articles and blog postings…

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Pathagility Taking On Pharmacogenetics Market – Arkansas Business (Mark Carter)

Innovate Arkansas Blog – Pathagility’s PGx pivot really not a big one

KA+A Newsletter – Check out the cool things they’re working on

Kristian Andersen Big On Arkansas Startup Scene

Little Rock Firm Blazes Its Own PGx Testing Path

 

Posted by kyle on

The Pathagility team has been hard at work to keep up with the demands of clinician’s and labs.  Improvements in speed, user experience and new features highlight the latest version of our  web-based software.  Our current users will not skip a beat with enhancements to our case entry screen and process.

Simplified screens- streamline data entry and eliminate scrolling and time consuming key strokes.

IntraCloud Lighting- Perhaps one of the most exciting features, is our latest technology which allows Pathagility users to migrate from one cloud to another with the speed of lightning.  Whether you are a clinical, molecular, or pathology lab Pathagility can have you signing out cases in 24 hours.

Mobile lab- architectural enhancements that deliver new users access to accessioning and signing out reports with the push of a button.  Clinicians can break away or augment their legacy or hospital system by leveraging Pathagility’s web-based platform.  Increase revenue opportunities and freedom from rigid systems.  Accession/Sign Out/ Deliver reports from anywhere to anywhere.

Custom Reports w/ Images- Pathagility’s rapid image, attachment feature and our custom report capability will set you free and distinguish your lab from the competition.

Contact Pathagility today to schedule a demo.  888-222-2972 or email us a info@Pathagility.com

Posted by kyle on

Your lab is growing and the demand on your staff to print reports and fax is taking up more of their time.  You don’t want to change your workflow process because everyone knows what is expected of them and they are comfortable working with your current LIS.  You would like to electronically deliver reports and use a fax service but your legacy system does not have those features.

Can that be added without changing our LIS?    Yes.

Take a look at how Pathagility helped UNC leverage their existing Filemaker Pro based LIS to deliver web-based reports and faxes.  For questions about how Pathagility can help your lab add these features, order entry, custom reporting, and EMR interfacing email info@pathagility.com or call (888) 222-2792

 

Posted by mark on

How long does it take to launch a pathology lab business and start generating reports?  6 months?  3 months? How about 1 week?!?

That’s how long it took one of our clients.  Now, obviously more than a week went into the planning and organization of developing their new business, but one week after we signed a software licensing agreement they were producing reports and providing the results electronically.  And not just your run-of-the-mill reports – beautiful, physician-friendly pathology reports.  On top of being able to generate customized reports in their web-based AP LIS, they received compliments on their menu of marketable electronic report delivery options that were available day one. 

This is a cool story!  (Not just because they are utilizing Pathagility’s full suite of products either! :) )  It’s a cool story because it’s now even more possible for someone to afford-ably and efficiently setup a pathology lab business the way that best suits the founders and better health-care.  The system piece is daunting to many pathologists that have investigated starting their own practice.  Consolidation is occurring in the market today, but there are also some individuals that are thinking about stepping out on their own.  We have worked with multiple startup labs.  What we’ve seen is they all have founders with big drive and are looking to create something that stands apart and generates optimum medical results.  Their stories provide a road map for what’s possible today.

Posted by Chad Files on

The text book answer: the ability of a system to handle a growing amount of work in a capable manner.

The real world answer: the ability to store more data, handle more users, distribute more information, change as business requires, and do it all without interruption.

The questions every new, or growing, pathology lab should ask when it comes to their information systems are: Will this system scale? How will this work when we add four/six/ten new doctors. How will this interface with EMR systems if we add 5/10/20 new clients this year? If your lab is in this situation, and you do not know the answers to these questions, breathe easy…we can help.

All of our products and solutions have been designed from the ground up to grow with your business, and scale accordingly as your business grows. Each of our products are designed to run in a software-as-a-service environment. This is a perfect setup for small to mid-sized labs that do not want, or need, the hassle of managing their IT infrastructure. However, if a small or mid-sized lab needs to grow into a large, multi-sight lab with hundreds of customers, the same system can deployed to a large cloud bank, or inside the lab on dedicated hardware; all without interruption to your services.

If you need help scaling, or have questions on the rest of our process, let us know. We will be glad to help you grow.