Category Archive: Pathology

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 mark on

Is your pathology lab executing a growth strategy? 

Have you hired a sales person or team to grow your specimen count? 

We talk to pathology groups daily that are at some point in the process of developing or executing a sales strategy.  They are either 1) attempting to grow their specimen count or 2) defending against larger laboratories with more resources.  To successfully compete, there are 3 items that laboratory sales people need to be armed with in the field:

1. Connectivity (and a lot of it!)

It is critical that a modern laboratory can offer a full menu of connectivity options.  Not every referring physician is looking for the same type of report delivery or consumption.  Also, some connectivity options are more expensive than others, and they need to be lined up with the business drivers associated with specimen volume and physician relationship.  For this reason, sales people need flexibility in this department.  Some of the connectivity “must haves” are online reports, on-demand faxing, remote  PDF transmission, remote printing, and EMR interfacing.  Check out some previous posts on FilePath, ReportPath and EMR interfacing.  These include some examples of connectivity options.

2. Sexy Reports

The lab report provides the image of the pathology group.  Generating reports that are marketable and physician friendly is critical to differentiating your practice.  Here is a previous post on lab branding and marketable reports.  Make sure your LIS lends itself to the development, customization and deployment of marketable reports.

3. Efficiency

The ability to add efficiency to the entire lab process can help sales people open up opportunities with referring physicians as well.  One example of this can be found in the ordering process.  Providing an online requisition system that 1)  fits into the ordering work flow of the physician office, 2) cuts down manual processes and duplicate data entry, and 3)  reduces the number of calls associated with the requisition process will open some doors.

If you are a lab sales person, consultant, pathologist or just someone interested in great healthcare, we would enjoy your comments.

Posted by mark on

Wow!  2011 was a great year for Pathagility with the addition of some great new clients and some exciting projects with our existing customer base.  We’ve been heads down in delivery mode.  As we turn our attention to 2012, we want to share some of the client experiences we’ve had over the past several months.  There were some great lessons learned, big efficiencies uncovered and exciting new products developed.  We hope some of these topics are helpful for you and we encourage your feedback, comments and suggestions.  Here are just a few of the topics we plan to cover…

process efficiency through bar coding

laboratory (LIS) access anywhere-starting a lab?

redefining your lab?

scalability – system needs from 0 to 60

online requisitions

remote printing increase sales through connectivity

Pathagility on-site server deployment

Who has the sexiest reports?

ACOs and laboratories

building sophisticated lab reports

EMR interface options

Differentiate your lab with LIS

Setup AP system for your workflow, not vice versa
 

That’s just a taste.  Look forward to your comments.  Here’s to a great 2012!

Posted by mark on

Pathagility will have a booth at CAP ’11 next month.  Hopefully the Dallas weather in September will be a tad bit milder than August (and July for that matter) has been.  Whether you are a pathologist, lab manager or a systems vendor; we hope you will drop by and visit with us.  We would like to hear about the opportunities and challenges you are facing and would be happy to discuss our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) LIS and physician connectivity products/services.   

So, if you are going to be there, let us know!  We would like to setup a few minutes to meet you.

Posted by mark on

If you are a pathology group or laboratory, how do your referring physicians want to receive report information?

Fax? Web Portal? EMR interface?The answer is something along the lines of…”the way they ask for it, when they ask for it!”  Right?  To compete against the mega, commercial labs, pathology report distribution flexibility is essential.  Not only is it important to be able to provide this flexibility, but it is important to your bottom line that it is cost effective.  Below are three (3) ways to achieve this goal:

1) Make sure your LIS is designed to foster distribution flexibility.  If not, work with a vendor that can “overlay”  or replace your legacy system and provide the needed flexibility.

2) Utilize an integration engine  or an integration partner that will facilitate efficient EMR interfacing and keep costs in check on  your behalf.

3) Understand when an EMR interface is truly needed/justified or if other distribution options are more appropriate.  Check out a previous post on this topic.

Posted by mark on

We are pleased to be one of the vendors to participate in the April 2011 CAP Today article called Lab-link vendors – on a mission with ‘mobile’ and more.”  Pathagility competes in the Lab-Provider Links market with our ReportPath product.  We appreciate CAP Today for allowing us to participate in multiple product market categories and related articles.

Here is the opening excerpt from the article…

“It’s a lesson in Economics 101: The federal government wants hospitals and medical practices to adopt electronic medical records, so it gives them “meaningful use dollars” to do so.  And with the increased use of EMRs comes greater demand for products that link these systems to other medical systems.  This, in turn, increases the business of many lab-provider links vendors, giving them the wherewithal to enhance their systems or develop ancillary products, thereby catalyzing growth of the lab-provider links marketplace. (Class Dismissed.)”

Posted by kyle on

We received a call from one of our lab customers requesting a results only interface for one of their referring physicians.  The referring physician has sent only a small volume of cases to the lab, and the cost from the EMR vendor alone would make the cost of an interface unjustifiable.  The referring physician group was under the impression that an interface was required by the new healthcare mandates.  The buzz around federal reimbursement dollars for medical practices under the ARRA (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) has created some confusion.   Keep in mind, that a full results only EMR interface is not the only option to satisfy the electronic results requirement.  Parsing fact from fiction is not easily done, and physicians are not always getting honest answers from vendors.  That’s not to say that there isn’t good information available and being communicated, but many times in trying to close a sale, vendors may be muddying the waters.  On more than one occasion, it has been left to us to educate not only our lab partners, but their referring physician groups on what an interface does, is, and what the costs are.  If you are a referring physician, an interface (results only or results and orders interface) from the lab may be what is required, often times all that is needed is to receive results and satisfy the electronic results requirement. We provide EMR interfaces for our customers and are certainly not opposed to them.  We just want to make that our customers know all the facts and we deliver exactly what they need.   In the case described above Pathagility’s ReportPath product fit the bill and was just what the doctor ordered.

Ask questions from your vendor, make sure you are not just getting upsold, and that you are getting exactly what you want and need for your practice.  Avoid being shoe-horned into what works for someone else.  At Pathagility we focus on offering products like ReportPath that work alongside and seamlessly with other systems, and strive to deliver and  communicate with our partners before, during, and throughout our relationship.

Posted by mark on

In a couple of weeks, Pathagility is going to attend the USCAP 2011 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX.  Are you? 

Whether you are associated with a pathology organization or you are a vendor, we would enjoy the opportunity of meeting you there.  You can send us an email to info@pathagility.com or send us a DM on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pathagility.

We would also enjoy hearing what you are most looking forward to at the meeting.  One of the speakers?  Seeing and hearing more about one of the new technologies related to this industry? Or just hanging out in San Antonio for a few days?  We would enjoy your comments…

Posted by mark on

According to new research  from Kalorama Information, the laboratory information systems (LIS) market should grow 6% annually over the next few years from its 2010 level of $800M.  The report  includes this interesting stat  – labor accounts for more than 60% of the cost of producing test results.  To drive down the percentage of manual labor needed to support the lab resulting process, the LIS will be asked to do a lot more than it is today. 

Following are 4 attributes we believe laboratories will be looking for in a next-generation LIS…

1.  Interoperability – interfacing ease and efficiency (EMR, multi-device, multi-channel, etc.)

2.  Change - ability to morph as needed quickly (and won’t break the bank!)

3.  Digital support – designed for increased adoption of molecular diagnostics and pathology

4.  Analytics – better access and use of data

What other items would you list as important attributes for next-generation laboratory IT systems?  Do you think these systems will be delivered in the cloud or provided by vendors as SaaS?

Posted by mark on

Why would community pathology groups choose a SaaS product over a traditional software package??

1.  TCO

When doing a cost comparison between software products, one should factor in computer/server hardware, network, disaster recovery, backup mechanisms, IT support, and third party software to name a few.  SaaS products eliminate the capital expenditures and include many of these items within their environment at a fixed monthly subscription rate offering a more attractive total cost of ownership.

2.  Shift and move

SaaS products provide the ability to change and change quickly.  Pathology labs play a critical role in healthcare  and are being asked to support the continually changing technology trends (EHR adoption) of their referring physicians.  The SaaS environment allows the pathology group to shift and move. 

3.  Open

System integration is a pre-requisite for community pathology groups to support their referring physicians and compete against the mega-labs (Quest, LabCorp, etc.)  SaaS systems are typically built on more open architectures that are conducive to higher quality/quantity  integration options.

What are some other reasons SaaS makes sense? 

What are some reasons, some pathology groups or other healthcare providers are holding off on adopting SaaS?