September 12, 2017

The LIS Alternative for Primary Care

A Laboratory Information System (LIS) is commonly used in acute care for managing point-of-care workflows as they track and store…

A Laboratory Information System (LIS) is commonly used in acute care for managing point-of-care workflows as they track and store clinical details about a patient’s lab visit. Despite occasionally being used in primary care, the reality of implementing and maintaining an LIS in this setting is onerous, as they weren’t built with this sector’s specific needs in mind. An LIS alternative is needed.

In outpatient or primary care an LIS is too feature bloated, making them slow and complicated to utilize. They also require servers and a significant ongoing IT effort, making them prohibitively expensive for use in primary care, where budgets and IT resources are incomparable to the likes of acute care.

This unsuitability leads many practices to rely on manual methods of data entry when offering point-of-care testing (POCT) to their patients, which can be challenging and costly in its own right. While these challenges lead many to believe that an LIS is an essential corrective measure for their practice, they are built for the wrong service model and utilizing one in primary care is overkill.

Device to EHR connectivity is required in order to run effective POCT in primary care, but using an LIS for this purpose is like sticking a round peg in a square hole- it just doesn’t work.

Problems with the LIS in Primary Care

A Laboratory Information System, such as LabDaq and Orchard Software, have equipped the United States’ healthcare industry with effective laboratory workflow procedures. However, these systems are incompatible with POCT in primary care for various reasons.

As acute care testing is conducted across in-patient or out-patient settings, the workflow of point-of-care testing in acute care is distinct from that of primary care. In acute care, specimens can take anything from hours to weeks to be followed up and, as a result, the corresponding tools for automating this workflow are not designed for speed. This does not work for point-of-care workflows in primary care, where specimens must be followed up immediately in order to advance each appointment.

This time-related predicament stems from Laboratory Information Systems being too feature bloated and complex to work effectively in a physician’s office laboratory (POL). The analytic capabilities, decision support and customization options they feature are beneficial in an acute care setting, however, they are complex and require trained lab technicians in order to function. This is not feasible for point-of-care testing in a primary care setting, where lab work is effectively being conducted by nurses, MAs and even physicians themselves.

Furthermore, Laboratory Information Systems include features such as patient check-in, order entry, specimen processing and patient demographics. While these features are needed in acute care, they overlap the EHR functionality in primary care.

For a product that is excessively expensive and requires significant ongoing maintenance fees, practices at least want it to adequately fulfil the needs of their POCT workflow. This is not the case.

An LIS alternative for Primary Care is needed

Laboratory Information Systems are unsuited to primary care, yet facilities still need to offer POCT to their patients. To do this right, they need a solution that will manage the process effectively.

With the numerous challenges that stand in the way of efficient POCT workflows – from the unproductive hours spent on manual data entry, to the numerous problems raised by transcription errors – primary care facilities require an LIS alternative that provides device to EHR connectivity in a manner that works for them.

Relaymed: built for Primary Care

Relaymed is a new product category, which brings the benefits of lab workflow automation to the primary care market. It effectively eradicates all the challenges posed by point-of-care testing. Run a test from a point-of-care device and results are available instantly in the EHR, where data is then stored with 100% accuracy and security. As we already partner with a host of EHRs, integrating Relaymed into your POCT workflow is seamless.

Our solution provides only the features of an LIS that are required in primary care (for instance, analytic reports and digital QC logs) in an automated device connectivity solution designed for primary care. This markedly improves workflow efficiency while remaining simple and affordable. A streamlined, lightweight LIS alternative.

This means no more waiting around for test results- physicians can continue to diagnose, consult and educate their patient with the information they need at hand. Happy staff, happy patients, with minimal effort on your part.

Schedule a demo with one of our team members and discover why you don’t need an LIS to run POCT.

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Further Reading

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