Category Archive: SaaS

Posted by Teresa Becker on

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As a laboratory executive, you are in charge of ensuring your lab operations including lab staffing, testing, and reporting run smoothly and deliver the best results to your referring physicians and groups. In today’s healthcare world, the patient experience is top of mind and if one system across your lab tech stack isn’t holding up, then the entire process you have in place could fail and the patient could suffer.

A LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) is a critical component to any lab operation, regardless of your lab’s focus, whether toxicology, women’s health, pharmacogenetics, cystic fibrosis, genomics and DNA, and so on. As a lab executive, you know that a LIMS allows you to effectively manage samples and associated data to improve lab efficiency, and by using a LIMS, your lab can automate workflows, integrate instruments, and manage samples and associated information – all important aspects of a laboratory’s continued success.

If your LIMS is holding back your lab, then it could be time to evaluate other solutions. So when it’s time to consider replacing your current LIMS, what are the most important factors? In the following blog post, we’ll explore 4 criteria that should be included in your search for a LIMS partner:

  1. Testing Capabilities

Your lab already specializes in a certain kind of testing, whether it be molecular testing, Pgx, toxicology, or another variety of testing. But what if you decide to add further testing capabilities in the future? With Pathagility, you can add an unlimited amount of new tests to the LIMS platform and what’s better, the new case types are modular and are built with the same processes and workflows your lab already uses.

With the rapid advancement of science, your lab needs the ability to stay ahead of the competition and add new tests – maybe even tests that are proprietary and have never been done before. With Pathagility, that’s no problem. We use a collaborative process to work with our clients to build brand new case types and implement them seamlessly into the current processes so nothing is interrupted. Put another way, migration can be done in a way and in a timeframe that is not disruptive to the lab’s business, which is possible because of Pathagility’s flexibility. Labs are not forced into an all or nothing decision and migration strategy.

When evaluating a new LIMS partner, ensure that you are able to expand your testing capabilities so that a software doesn’t hold your lab back.

  1. Report Distribution

Once your lab runs a test, you need a detailed report back. With Pathagility’s built in portal, you can log in and retrieve the reports yourself in just a few easy steps. But in addition, we leave it up to you as to how you’d like to receive the reports, whether via fax, HL7 distribution, or an email with a link to download the report securely. Or, you can install and receive reports automatically as they’re going through your system – and allow your own clients to do the same. In addition, everything is logged in the system so you know that your reports have been properly sent, received, and recorded, which gives you peace of mind. And what happens if you want to change your preferences? No problem. All rules and distribution channels are completely dynamic and can be turned off or on at the flip of a switch.

Reporting is a critical factor for labs, so it’s important to thoroughly examine how a new LIMS could accomplish efficient and thorough reporting that meets the needs of every referring physician or group.

  1. Accessible API

As your business grows, you’ll find you have more IT needs and have multiple systems – sometimes performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Your reporting solution should be a facilitator of data movement, not a hinderance. Your reporting solution should not silo off important data from other systems that run important factors across the lab (e.g business critical systems that you may already have in place or could adopt in the future). It’s important that your solution has a full API (application program interface) that can be extended around both existing and new offerings. Pathagility’s robust API allows you to integrate any system across your lab, transforming your LIMS and reporting solution into your lab’s nucleus.

Critical lab systems need to be able to access and retrieve the important data (i.e. finished clinician reports, case data, demographic data, business data, user data, etc) they need in order to get the job done. Does the new LIMS you are evaluating allow for this?

  1. Custom Branding

You’ve worked hard to create a unique brand for your lab, so the last thing you want is for your reports to be standard or worse, reflect the branding of a partner lab instead of your own. At Pathagility, we know how important it is for you to project your branding on your reports – even if using standard out-of-the-box case types.

Pathagility’s LIMS platform allows you to carry your branding throughout all reporting by allowing you to customize the entire look and feel. For example, if you’re a PGx lab, choose your logo and colors, but also determine details such as vertical or horizontal layout, boxes or call-outs, areas for specific stats, and even cross-reference medications from your lab tests. To put it simply, whatever a graphic designer can come up with, we can replicate it in our Pathagility reports.

Be sure to evaluate whether the LIMS you’re considering will let you reflect your brand’s true colors throughout the platform and reports.

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

3 Features in Pathagility Your Lab Will Love

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

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

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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 Brandon Willis on

Scientific microscope.

Evaluating a LIMS and reporting solution can be overwhelming. Not only does your lab’s reporting affect the quality of your own lab and processes, but your reports affect the end patient experience, too. While there are many questions you should ask in order to find the right solution and the right team to partner with, we’ve put together 4 top questions you should ask when evaluating a lab reporting solution:

  1. Can I craft a report that plays to my expertise and insights?

When the specialist at the clinic gets your report, are they going to say, “I know this report. I’ve seen it many times before.”? That kind of uniformity, while sometimes comfortable, doesn’t allow your lab to express your unique value on your reports. Your additional data and perspectives are a huge differentiator for your lab. When evaluating a lab reporting solution, it’s important to ask if that solution can accommodate your unique needs, or if you’ll be forced into a one-size-fits-all report.

A critical component of offering a uniquely valuable report is the ability to process the data relayed to the report in ways that express your lab’s expertise. Is there only one way, in your reporting solution, to interpret the data ingested by it? Can you to define and redefine the algorithm that interprets the data relayed to the report? If there is only one algorithm to interpret the data, who defined it and why? Can you move at the speed of research – or not – at your comfort level?

Further, even with a uniquely designed report and expertly customized algorithm generating data for your report, you need to ask if your subject matter experts (SMEs) can apply their insights on a case-by-case basis during the generation of any given report? And If so… How are these expert insights relayed to the report?

If you’re limited to a one-size-fits-all report, a one-way-to-do-it algorithm or a canned-responses-only report generation mechanism… In the least you may not be able to express critically differentiating components of your lab and its expertise. But in the worst of situations you may have to hold cases because they do not pass muster with your experts.

  1. How does my report get delivered?

When evaluating a reporting solution, you need to consider whether your reports will be bound up inside of the system, or whether the solution will make your reports readily available across multiple reporting channels. For example if your client – the clinician – wants to access their reports online, can they do that? Can they receive email updates that reports are ready? If a clinic still relies on faxes, can they receive the reports that way? Or, without going through a complex IT hurdle, will you be able to provide electronic copies directly out to clinics?

The core of this question is delivery – making your reports available across multiple channels so your clients get your reports as quickly and as easily as possible.

  1. What happens when I want to expand the platform of tests I offer?

What if you only do toxicology, PGx or women’s health at the moment, but you want to expand your testing capabilities? If you move onto a reporting system that only does ONE kind of reporting, then you need to go back to the drawing board and purchase a new solution when you decide to expand your business.

Your lab needs a reporting system that can flex around new offerings and translate those new offerings into familiar workflows that ease on-boarding and accelerate adoption.

  1. Is there an API?

As your business grows, you’ll find you have more IT needs and have multiple systems – sometimes performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Your reporting solution should be a facilitator of data movement, not a hinder it. Your reporting solution should not silo off important data from other systems that run important factors across the lab (e.g business critical systems that you may already have in place or could adopt in the future). It’s important that your solution has a full API (application program interface) that can be extended around both existing and new offerings.

Critical lab systems need to be able to access and retrieve the important data (i.e. finished clinician reports, case data, demographic data, business data, user data, etc) they need to get the job done.


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

3 Features in Pathagility Your Lab Will Love

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

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

About the Author

Brandon Willis is VP of Development at Pathagility. For more information, http://www.pathagility.com/about/. 

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Posted by Chad Files on

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The Pathagility team is inspired by start-up labs and existing laboratories that are developing new and innovative tests. We know how challenging that process can be for labs, so we built a modern technology solution that provides a cost effective, Software-as-a-Service solution engineered especially for your lab’s needs. As a flexible cloud-based system, Pathagility gives laboratories the ability to adapt to changing technology and provides interpretive reporting across existing and emerging tests.

While Pathagility is the reporting and LIMS system of choice for many labs, below are our 3 favorite things about Pathagility that we know your lab will love, too:

  • Unlimited Testing Capabilities

Your lab already specializes in a certain kind of testing, whether it be molecular testing, Pgx, toxicology, or another specialty. But what if you decide to add further testing capabilities in the future? With Pathagility, you can add an unlimited amount of new tests to the system and what’s better, the new case types are modular and are built with the same processes and workflows your lab already uses.

With the rapid advancement of science, your lab needs the ability to stay ahead of the competition and add new tests – maybe even tests that are proprietary and have never been done before. With Pathagility, that’s no problem. We use a collaborative process to work with our clients to build brand new case types and implement them seamlessly into the current processes so nothing is interrupted. 

How does it work? We simply have a conversation with your lab about the type of testing you are doing or would like to do, we obtain the custom algorithms and data points, and our team builds out case types which fit just like a puzzle into the rest of your tests.

  • Distribution of Reports

Once your lab runs a test, you need a detailed report back. But the way Pathagility returns your report is a major X factor. With a built in portal, you can log in and retrieve the reports yourself in just a few easy steps. But in addition, we leave it up to you as to how you’d like to receive the reports. We can distribute via fax, HL7 distribution, or you can choose to receive an email with a link to download the report securely. Or, you can install and receive reports automatically as they’re going through your system – and allow your own clients to do the same – with our feature called FilePath. In addition, everything is logged in the system so you know that your reports have been properly sent, received, and recorded, which gives you peace of mind.

What happens if you want to change your preferences… tomorrow? No problem. All rules and distribution channels are completely dynamic and can be turned off or on at the flip of a switch.

  • All Case Types & Reports Are Custom Branded to Your Lab

You’ve worked hard to create a unique brand for your lab, so the last thing you want is for your reports to be standard or worse, reflect the branding of a partner lab instead of your own. At Pathagility, we know how important it is for you to project your branding on your reports – even if using standard out-of-the-box case types.

Pathagility’s system allows you to carry your branding throughout all reporting by allowing you to customize the entire look and feel. For example, if you’re a PGx lab, choose your logo and colors, but also determine details such as vertical or horizontal layout, boxes or call-outs, areas for specific stats, and even cross-reference medications from your lab tests. To put it simply, whatever a graphic designer can come up with, we can replicate it in our Pathagility reports.


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.

About the Author

Chad Files, VP of Product at Pathagility, is an accomplished software architect and developer. He has served as a senior software developer and systems architect for NovaSys Health in Little Rock Arkansas, and a Technical Team Leader at Acxiom Corporation. Chad is also an open source software advocate and developer. His writing on open source software and IT management has been published in several leading trade magazines and on various trade websites.

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Posted by Teresa Becker on

lab-test

A high volume clinical laboratory based in Louisiana specializes in advanced PGx and Toxicology testing. The lab receives test samples from around the United States to process in their CLIA certified lab.

Opportunity

With testing so sophisticated and unique, the lab needed a better way to provide clean and easy to interpret reports to referring physicians or groups that could be customized by case types, as well as branded to specific groups. The former LIMS system the lab used, which was an in-house system, was not able to expand with their growing testing capabilities and couldn’t meet the lab’s needs. The lab’s previous LIMS system also required a sizable IT team to support the system.

Solution

The team selected Pathagility as their new LIMS provider in the summer of 2015. Pathagility, which is a customizable laboratory reporting solution built to adapt across any type of test, device or laboratory, has the flexibility to serve the lab as the LIMS or Interpretive Reporting Software – or both. In partnership with Pathagility, the lab had the new platform in place and fully implemented in just over 2 months.

Results

The lab’s former in-house system was only able to analyze 50 tests across toxicology and PGx. With Pathagility, the lab is now able to analyze over 95 different tests – with the ability to analyze even more as the lab continues to expand testing.

The team is now able to format reports by any number of factors, including case types. Previously providing two separate reports to referring physicians and groups, Pathagility now allows the lab to create just one easy to interpret visual report. In addition, the team can now work alongside marketing to rapidly integrate unique logos and color for each group it serves for branding purposes.

Additionally, the lab’s administrators are able to track which staff member logged in to the Pathagility platform and are now able to track the actions of uniquely identified staff members with date and time stamps. Administrators can also monitor which actions were taken to create additional accountability and control across the lab for compliance purposes.

Download the entire case study to learn more about this high volume PGx lab and its results.


For more information on how your lab can prepare for tech advancements, check out these recent Pathagility resources:

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

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

PGx Blog Image

Over the last 10 years, it has come to public knowledge that genes do not necessarily have to express themselves. Integrative doctors have brought to our patients’ attention that genes are turned on or off by our environment. Our environment includes the food we eat, the nutritional supplements we take, the thoughts we have, the exercise we do… Wow, the power of science!

What is Pharmacogenetics?

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field allows us to combine pharmacology and genomics to determine effective and safe medication dosages which are specific to an individual’s DNA makeup. This means minimizing side effects from the drugs! According to a recent article, at present there are over 770,000 injuries or deaths due to drug reactions per year in the United States. Pharmacogentics gives us the promise of significantly lowering this number.

In recent years, new technologies have emerged that can analyze DNA and see which biochemical pathways may be impaired, allowing  labs to cross-reference this with all the drugs that require that pathway to break them down. The laboratories then uses a LIMS system or reporting solution, like  Pathagility, to provide beautiful and, more importantly, comprehensible charts and reports that detail  which drugs a patient is able to break down in the normal fashion. These reports also provide insights into which drugs the individual will not be able to break down in the normal fashion.

The Future of PGx

Although pharmacogenomics has the potential to radically change the way healthcare is provided, it’s really only in its infancy. In the future, pharmacogenomics could find uses along the entire drug discovery and development timeline, beginning with target discovery late-stage clinical trials, according to a recent article. Beyond that, pharmacogenomic tests could eventually be used as an integral part of a routine visit to the doctor’s office as a means to get the right medicine to the right patient at the right time.

The Technology Behind PGx

Technology is  evolving to transform rapid genetic testing – especially in the advanced PGx labs. While portable devices are being engineered for robust diagnosis of disease that will improve patient experience and management, labs also see a great need for a superior, customizable laboratory reporting solution that can adapt across any type of test, device or laboratory. Often times, LIMS and reporting systems – especially those built in house – can be limiting to the types of tests they can analyze. PGx lab executives need a central laboratory reporting solution that will adapt across any type of test, device or laboratory to provide their lab, referring physicians and patients with the enhanced reporting that modern labs now require.

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.

PGx Use Case

The lab’s former in-house system was only able to analyze 50 tests across toxicology and PGx. With Pathagility, the lab is now able to analyze over 95 different tests – with the ability to analyze even more as the lab continues to expand testing.

The team is now able to format reports by any number of factors, including case types. Previously providing two separate reports to referring physicians and groups, Pathagility now allows the lab to create just one easy to interpret visual report. In addition, the team can now work alongside marketing to rapidly integrate unique logos and color for each group it serves for branding purposes.

Additionally, the lab’s administrators are able to track which staff member logged in to the Pathagility platform and are now able to track the actions of uniquely identified staff members with date and time stamps. Administrators can also monitor which actions were taken to create additional accountability and control across the lab for compliance purposes.


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

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

Pathagility: Built For the Lab of Today

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

 

Posted by Teresa Becker on

You know just about everything there is to know about your lab. You understand the technology you use and how it works, you know each member of your staff and the roles they play, you know backwards and forwards all of the tests your lab equipment can read, and you can predict what TaT times are for each hour of the day. But for just a moment as you’re reading this post, forget everything you know about your medical lab. While you’re reading this post, you’re the patient. You’re the one that went to the your family physician and had important tests done earlier this week – blood work to determine why your body hasn’t been functioning properly the last couple months and why your medicines are reacting the way they are. You’re uneasy about the results, your family keeps asking if you’ve heard anything, and you’re anxious to get the tests back, whatever answers they may hold. You just want to know, and you want to feel better.

This scenario is an everyday occurrence for thousands of patients across the nation each day who have tests performed, for whatever the reasons may be. And they count on a series of events happening efficiently and effectively so they can determine what’s next, with the help of their referring physician.

Your lab, no matter your specialty, plays an integral role in the patient experience, whether you have direct interaction with the patient or not. So what can your lab do to directly improve the patient experience? Here are 3 ways:

  • Provide Referring Physicians or Groups With Intuitive Information

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.

  • Improve 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, 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.

How does this affect the patient experience? 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 and ensure they are delivering the best information back to the referring physician or group, and thereby helping to answer the patient’s questions sooner and with more accuracy.

  • Create an Environment Where 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.


Without exception, 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:

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

2016 Lab Resolutions

If the past few years have been any indicator, healthcare in 2016 (and maybe especially in the lab) will be fraught with change and will present many opportunities for those innovating in the face of those changes.

“As laboratory professionals, our focus on quality begins by looking inward at our operational processes from specimen collection to result reporting, but the application of this work is then externalized, sent to the ordering physicians and applied to their patients,” said Irwin Rothenberg MBA, MS, MT(ASCP) in a recent post. “The way we perform and report our work, and its effect on patient care, ultimately affects the greater community. This we already know, and it is one of our strongest motivators to maintain the best quality possible. But what we may not see as clearly is how changes in the world around us are constantly impacting our own work environment, challenging established routines and time tested views of our profession.”

As Irwin emphasized in his post, changes in healthcare are all around us and are simply unavoidable – especially for lab professionals. So how can your lab keep up with the changing environment while ensuring your referring physicians and the end patient remain at the center? We’ve come up with 3 Resolutions for 2016 along with advice you can implement now to help meet your goals:

Resolution 1: “I resolve to create a central environment for my data”

As a lab executive, you need a central laboratory reporting solution (LIMS) 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 such as 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.

Resolution 2: “I resolve to institute low cost ways to improve reporting for our referring physicians and groups”

While there are many low cost ways to improve output for physicians and increase the value your lab can provide, one way you can immediately impact value to physicians is to streamline reporting and increase the number of tests and case types that your reporting software can handle.

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.

Use Case:

For one Pathagility customer, the lab’s former in-house system was only able to analyze 50 tests across toxicology and PGx. With Pathagility, the lab is now able to analyze over 95 different tests - with the ability to analyze even more as the lab continues to expand testing.

The team is now able to format reports by any number of factors, including case types. Previously providing two separate reports to referring physicians and groups, Pathagility now allows the lab to create just one easy to interpret visual report. In addition, the team can now work alongside marketing to rapidly integrate unique logos and color for each group it serves for branding purposes.

Resolution 3: “I resolve to understand how a strong cloud-based technology can increase efficiency”

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 LIMS or work in conjunction with existing systems to make all data visible in one location.


“While change brings up thoughts of new tests, new instruments, new procedures, and more training, it can also require conceptual reorientation of what we are achieving,” said Rothenberg.

But in 2016, our labs should strive to ensure that even with the great technological advances the healthcare landscape is seeing, that the physician and patient remain our primary focus with the goal of delivering premier care.

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

The Evolution of the Lab

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

Posted by Teresa Becker on

Pathagility Evolution of the Lab

As a lab executive, we don’t need to tell you how much the lab has changed over the last years. Every day, more and more tests are introduced, and innovation both in tests and technology is increasing at a daily rate. Innovative and start-up labs have new testing instruments and have optimized layouts and workflows of the tests. But now, labs realize more than ever that they need to advance in the way they use their LIMS and reporting tools in order to stay competitive.

What will labs of the future have to innovate on in order to stay relevant – and even competitive? 

  • Cost and speed to market – In the future, labs will not only deliver test results, but will need to see historical data through intuitive reporting information and proactively report on case types, trends, and demographics in order to stay competitive and relevant.
  • Adapting to needs – Labs will evolve to paperless and web-enabled working; in moving to a cloud-based system, innovative labs will have a chance to map out new processes to enable lab staff to focus on their most important priorities.  
  • Efficiency in the lab - Innovative labs will need complete visibility and improved communication across their workflows and processes. If they’re currently using multiple systems independently, they will need to consolidate or integrate their technology to allow for greater efficiency and communication across all technology.
  • Customizable reporting - Lab executives will need technology that allows them to easily interpret data from existing EMRs, LIMS, billing systems, lab instruments, and middleware systems.

Labs no longer serve just physicians or hospitals according to Medical Laboratory Observer; sometimes the patient is the direct customer, with the advent of and increase in specialized tests. Because of the increased demands on labs both in the types of tests they must conduct as well as the speed in which they must conduct the testing, reporting technology is now a fundamental component in any type of lab – especially those that wish to stay competitive in the future.

Whether private or commercial, large or small, a single facility or part of a large, regional network, a lab’s reporting technology should be the hub for everything from patient demographics, to full historical data, lab and test trends, and overall analysis. And, this technology should be able to do rules-based and intelligent reporting based upon any number of factors across different disciplines.

Looking for a partner to help your lab build out sophisticated reporting technology to meet your unique needs? Check out a 30-minute demo of Pathagility and see our reporting technology in action.

 

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…