The profession of laboratory management is a complicated one that requires the utmost care of the patients. The lab must convey a sense of trust to the customers so that they can entrust you with their samples for the analysis.
Clinical Laboratories can now Wave off Manual Work:
With all this hard work already being done by clinical laboratories, the department of HealthCare took a new turn when it was decided that a lab has to send results directly to the patients. This was mainly done to relieve the stress from the patients who are waiting for their reports from the doctors. With instant report generation, the doctors can now decide quickly on the critical cases.
The mandatory direct lab report delivery to the patient can be done in various ways whichever is comfortable with the patient and the lab. With the latest technology on queue, the task has been rendered easy for the labs to be in touch with the patients. In this blog, let us discuss the various smart ways in which a lab can send lab reports to patient and deliver the test sample reports to them.
Conveying the Message via Short Message Service (SMS):
Sharing reports via SMS can add on to the benefit of sample report collection. One small SMS on the result of the test analysis can set the patients mind at peace.
Lab reports once generated can easily be shared via SMS straight to the Patient or the Doctor, thus completely eliminating the need for manual handling, wait time or traveling. Reports of multiple tests performed by the patient are shared as separate updates to avoid possible commotion. With the intervention of LIMS in clinical laboratories, we help in conveying instantaneous report results to the patient as soon as the technician generates the results. SMS conveying system for test results has so many advantages some of which are:
No manual human intervention is needed
Immediate report sharing is made possible for emergency cases or critical patients
Conveying the Message via E-mails:
One of the fail-safe methods for accessing patients anytime is messaging via the electronic mails or E-mails. This way the patient can be notified even at their place of work without them having to visit our facilities for manual collection of the report.
Once the lab report is generated with all the optimum observation made from the testing of samples, it can be sent via an E-mail in PDF format of an attachment so that the patient can infer from the report and take the necessary action if any required. A LIMS linked lab can save a lot of unwanted manual task and convey the message to the patient and doctor immediately for analysis. It has the same benefits as that of SMS with an added advantage of the whole report being shared.
Report generation on Mobile App:
A pre-installed mobile app on your smartphone can even track your test analysis phases in your mobile and let you know when you can expect the test results. With just a few swipes, you can view your test results as soon as it is generated by the technician. What better than the confidentiality of your smartphone to let you know the results.
A smartphone with internet connectivity is all that is needed to access reports on the go. The advantage of the mobile app is that you can check the readiness of your report anywhere and at any time.
Direct Collection of the report from the lab:
Out of all the smart ways listed above, this method can be said as the last smart one. However, direct collection of the report from the lab itself is also the safest method when dealing with sensitive information.
Though it requires the physical job to get the report from the lab, it can also be completed by posting the report from the lab to the patient’s home directly.
The direct collection can be combined with all of the above methods of lab report collected by the patient. The patient can first be notified of the result and feel at ease to collect the report. With the full PDF as sent via an E-mail, the report can be viewed and consulted with a doctor also. This makes the task of collection of the printed report generated in the lab at ease and not urgent.
These were the few methods to send lab reports to the patient, the clinical laboratory can use all of the methods or some of the above to make the patient feel at ease with the lab and thereby creating a sense of trust with the lab.
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The healthcare industry, like any other industry, is not self-reliant. Since this is an ever-evolving industry there's no stopping for the challenges that arise or the solutions for it. One such healthcare solution is the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). The Laboratory management system has been providing healthcare solutions for the industry, over the past couple of decades: but what it really is?
LIMS And What Does It Do?
The Laboratory management system started as a system to keep a record of test samples, their results and all other particulars of donor and patients sample. From the point of its inception, the laboratory management system followed the traditional methods of manual labeling and record-keeping; it was followed only until the introduction of computers to healthcare solutions.
Ever since the Laboratory Information Management System is in a course of upward trajectory.
As the computers evolved so did software. Dedicated LIMS software packages began appearing with tweaks and new features every time. The LIMS software today is so reliable that once a test sample is collected in lab or patients house, it is taken to a pathology laboratory and given a tag, it is almost impossible to lose track of it. The LIMS software packages can manage and update the progress in tests and can also update the result of the tests to the database in real-time.
To put in simple words:
A laboratory Information management system, shortly known as LIMS, is a software that is used to help lab faculties in collecting samples, processing and delivering reports to patients. It acts as an interface between the lab faculties and the database where all the information and essential details are stored. This includes all the tests conducted under a particular facility.
In its early days, the laboratory management system was an isolated off the network system. But as technology paved the way for more advanced secure networking, the Laboratory Information Management System stepped into the next-gen of healthcare solutions.
Even though the laboratory management systems provide easy accessibility of the information from the database, it isn't enough. Its information resource was limited to that one particular facility alone. The limitations of a standalone laboratory management system include
Limitation in the storage capacity of the database servers
The maintenance of servers at the healthcare facility itself involves difficulties
Medical procedures that involve referral to different locations will require carrying of physical records; which is an inconvenience again.
Though the chances are less: if the servers go down it is almost impossible to recover the data unless there is a backup, which will require additional servers.
Since standalone laboratory management systems are not cloud-based, sharing patient reports via App, SMS or Emails is restricted.
Since there are technologies developed already to overcome these limitations, they should be employed immediately.
The cloud storage is a powerful technology than it sounds. The cloud storage has virtually no limits on the storage capacity, thereby immensely supporting the laboratory information management system and other healthcare solutions.
The data centers provide a larger bandwidth to access the servers. That is more than enough to provide traffic less access.
Since the cloud servers have multiple redundant systems, there is always a backup and data loss is not a thing to worry about.
The centralized data center for the laboratory management system makes it possible to access data from anywhere in the world with authorization.
The maintenance of these servers is extremely cost-effective compared to the standalone LIMS.
As LIMS is cloud-based, it can connect multiple stakeholders. You can also have control over sample tracking, processing and delivering. And there is easy scalability in business.
The inter-connection of LIMS software servers also introduces the patients to the inside of the Laboratory Information Management System. Since the LIMS software made the information easily accessible, the patients can easily keep track of their records. This also helps patients to keep their personal health records up to date with no effort.
LIMS Beyond Limits:
The LIMS software, even though started as a record-keeping and managing healthcare solution, it has now evolved into a state of complete management solution. It has given a massive boost to the administration of the healthcare facility and also the financial management of the healthcare centers.
The LIMS software acts as an interface between the laboratory equipment and other devices. The Laboratory Information management System is capable of interfacing with the database in real-time to import and export data. It also acts as an interface between multiple devices within the lab for better coordination.
For instance, an MRI scanner is only a scanning machine with an image display unit and a control unit. But, with the LIMS software machine interface, the data from the scanner can be stored directly in the database to the respective patient name. It helps the doctors to analyze the data whenever required.
Time management is one of the most challenging objectives of management. The LIMS software used in today's healthcare facilities provides day to day management solutions besides healthcare solutions.
The LIMS software can make schedules for doctors and specialists. It also helps in scheduling for follow-ups and cancellation of appointments at the request of patients through IVRs and websites.
Since there is always a demand for the time slots to access the laboratory equipment and devices, including the high-cost scanners which are a rare resource, LIMS software can schedule their time slots in the most effective way.
In addition to these, the Laboratory Information Management System also has the in-house pharmacy records maintained, notifies the maintenance of laboratory equipment and other services.
The AI of LIMS and it's future:
The future of the Laboratory Information Management System has already shown us a glimpse of what it is capable of over the years.
The AI is definitely the future of every field and the Laboratory Information Management System is no exception. The introduction of LIMS software to artificial intelligence can automate pretty much everything in the laboratory management system and improve the qualities of healthcare solutions. Smart labs will be the newest addition to the list of healthcare solutions by the LIMS software.
The advancements in various supporting fields such as microfluidics, biometrics, lab-on-a-chip technologies, and their automation have ensured the steady progress of the Laboratory Information Management system. The day is not far when the AI Laboratory Information management System (AI LIMS) will be working along with humans and serve humanity.
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Going wrong in experiments taking place in laboratories is usual, but proper attention and planning can help in preventing damaged reputations, wasted resources, and unnecessary accidents. Below are some reasons why laboratories fail and what can be done to stop them.
A shortfall of orientation with the Business:
Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, and other legendary labs can evoke images of complete isolation and extreme secrecy from the core business. Split-up sorting is significant in the case of organizations where rules and regulations heads to balance new ideas. In this case, split-up remains as a rare problem.
The issue inclines that the labs do not have a clear strategy planned with the organization. You can see most of the labs offers kombucha by installing kegs on tap to acquire the creative things beginning and then start to evaluate with only a finite conception of their goals. Some of the team in the labs are not sure that they are charged with disruption or serving the core business.
The committee members and leaders should consider the importance of opening a lac, decide on how the lab will benefit or interrupt the present and future Business, should plan for a remedy in the case of disruption, prepare the works for how the new ideas are going to be executed, and more. The planning and other steps can be successful if it's made with the following considerations.
Vitality: Making clear and creative goals for the lab will assist both company leaders, and stakeholders understand the intent and direction of development vision.
Growth: Let's imagine, you have come with the idea that is validated as well as requires growing outside of the lab. Now, where will you get the additional support for the plan? There are few options like you go back to an accelerator, an incubator, or into the core business. Possibly, troublemaking innovations will go outside of the core enterprises, as it can be developed in a further way and also secured from business-as-usual fingerprints and corporate antibodies.
People: People with purpose and passions are considered to be the heart of the most influential development initiatives as there is no chance for the lab to support the stakeholders who come up with new ideas and implementing them in unchartered territory.
Lack of team balance:
Some people have good intentions and knowledge of the industry but fails as they do not have any idea how innovation works. Possibly, the leaders of this type deal with the development and changes as they deal with a problem in the core business. This will lead to more significant incremental improvements.
The other way lab fails when they are staffed merely by a team of external tycoons, whose only thinking is to set fire to conventional forms of operating burns bridges along with the organization. It means the people know steps to build a business or launch startups but will miss the internal networks and knowledge needed to handle corporate networks.
It's essential to take a diverse team to be more successful at your organization. You also need people outside the enterprise, but you need to make sure that they possess different skills including employees for long with a passion for development, creativity and also should know the working nature of the company.
It's not much easy to maintain this balance, but you need to make it happen. The practical development team in or out of the lab needs to be diverse and purpose-driven in terms of background, function, and cognitive style.
The shortfall of metrics to trace success:
Innovation needs unique and creative thinking around economic support. Labs require space to incubate, evolve, or iterate new ideas. Return and financial need to be tracked over time and also should be insisted in advance even if your lab acts as a cost center that is mandated to experiment over the longer term.
Apart from this, there are some other essential things for the laboratories failing like Undervaluing ROI (Return on Investment), hiring extremes, building vs buying, meaningless hackathons, inflated expectations, the CTO/CINO/CIO dilemma, undue focus on interruption, poor project management, a big plan with no stepping stones, ignoring people by focusing on technology, and more.
Do you have any other suggestions to stop the laboratories from failing?
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Running a productive lab smoothly is tedious. Whether you are dealing with multiple samples or if you have an excessive number of deadlines approaching, following the practical tips given below will help in managing your lab efficiently.
1. Keep an eye on your stuff:
Your inventory covers all the specimens and reagents your lab will need for diagnostic or experimentation analysis. An effective way of sustaining inventory is to use a tool which makes use of barcodes to identify, categorize, and track samples. Regardless, the labels you utilize for vials, racks, tubes, and boxes need to be suitable for the atmosphere in which they will be used. For instance, labels marked ”cryogenic” can come in handy for any reagents stored in freezers or cell lines or specimens stored in liquid nitrogen.
2. Sustainment is key:
Maintenance of the lab infrastructure is vital to ensure the durability of your reagents and samples. Refrigerators and freezers need to be sustained at the ideal temperature, Co2/O2 levels in each incubator should be controlled carefully, and the stocks of liquid nitrogen and other lab supplies must be replenished. Systems which can control your storage equipment, offering real-time notifications and updates while keeping detailed reports and logs of all parameter related activity can make this entire process automated, with minimal human intervention, and will ensure that no other thing is missed. These type of systems work with a cloud-based framework and can integrate all reports in a single place and will notify the lab personnel if anything goes wrong.
3. Stay Coordinated:
Spending time in workflow management will enable you to enhance sample traceability, track inventory, improve the overall personnel productivity, and more. Incorporating a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) is an excellent way to do this as it will note the movement of each sample during the testing process, monitoring its custody chain, and enabling users to schedule downstream processing, analysis, and testing in a smooth manner. Getting the most out of your LIMS by using barcoded labels is critical as both will aid in sample traceability and tracking.
Communication and coordination are also vital when incorporating any system that optimizes workflow. Holding regular lab meetings will enable you to create and control any LIMS you wish to utilize and also keep a good record of all lab activities with the help of well-annotated lab books and LIMS.
4. It’s the system, not the people:
No matter how organized the labs are, errors will occur. Designing barriers and openly discussing the mistakes will decrease the likelihood of them reappearing. By introducing multiple checkpoints and verifications, you can reduce the chances that the mistakes will stack up causing unanticipated consequences. But this should not be done without compromising the speed of processing in the lab. Maintaining lab infrastructure, keeping a managed inventory, and coordinating your workflow are all kinds of barriers which can prevent critical errors. Managing all related data in your lab books will also enable you to revolve the mistakes as each test or experiment can be verified with comprehensive documentation even if the person is no longer a lab member.
5. Utilize Common Sense:
Some labs are specialized in carrying out a small set of techniques that needs specific labels. For instance, Xylene resistant labels for histochemistry labs. Regardless, most of the labs do not have tremendous resources with which to buy labels and equipment. Managing a lab cannot be like a one size fits all approach. In this case, it’s crucial to assess what the issues are and to come up with answers from both financial and organizational standpoints. In most cases, simple solutions are enough. For instance, you can have signed up sheets either online or on paper for machines like biosafety, centrifuges, cabinets, and thermocyclers, etc.
6. Thinking Creatively:
Following the current trends are important. You need to make sure that you’re thinking in a creative manner even for simpler things as it can help avoid issues in the lab and also can enhance the research pace.
Efficient communication is crucial regardless of the lab you work in, but with every member consistently working on various techniques or projects, it's possible that they fall out of the habit of collaborating. Lab meetings are a significant way to solve problems, especially in the beginning of the week, so that everyone knows what their tasks are and how to complete them. It’s a good habit to make a relationship with your office mates even outside the lab as this helps to have excellent communication.
Hope the above blog helped you to know about managing a lab productively and their benefits in depth.
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Every modern industry laboratories are under intense pressure to enhance operational efficiency and to decrease costs, while at the same time controlling regulatory compliance and improves quality.
LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) is adopted across various verticals to meet the challenges. The on-premises system fails most of the time to offer the flexibility which is required to stay competitive in today's economic environment; therefore, an on-premise system is not agile, connected, or responsive.
Advantages of the cloud-based LIMS:
Integration, upgrades & implementation of the on-premise system indicates that the in-house IT workers having less time to work on improved innovation systems & this can also be a time-consuming process. There are plenty of advantages for your organization in case your moving to a SaaS LIMS.
Rapid LIMS implementation:
You need not invest your time to set up servers or install the software. Most of the works are done already if you are using the SaaS LIMS. Apart from that, your lab can run on the unique LIMS quickly and also help your lab to be up.
Online based LIMS are best for enterprises with inconsistent user requirements. With SaaS, it's simple to balance your works either up or down, based on what is happening on your business, and it's enough to spend money on what you make use. New features, services, and a user can be added anywhere by just with the click of the button. The skill that SaaS offers can provide organizations using cloud computing a straight edge over the competitors.
Accessibility and Collaboration:
Online based LIMS allows hassle-free, and easy access to your data anytime and anywhere from different locations, multiple branches, and various systems with a secure login ID. This accelerates enhances collaboration within laboratories in organizations globally. Apart from that, the ability to access workflows and data from where you hold an online connection.
Cloud services are providing mobile applications, and there are no restrictions for specific devices to establish the system.
Levels the playing field:
An online-based LIMS enables every type of small business to possess the ability to provide the organization-level features and functionalities on a pay as you reach the top. This results in, the small business running a LIMS can be more agile and nimble when compared to the large companies which are still making use of the on-premise legacy system.
By using the SaaS LIMS, there is no license cost, just a minimal installation fee, and no need for any databanks or in-house servers, no IT maintenance costs for software or hardware. You can only pay as your subscription you need to choose, and you can pay for the functionalities you need. The funds can be used to invest in essential businesses as there is no higher expense based on the Saas LIMS, and this can fuel the creations which are required to keep your company competitive.
Automatic Software Updates:
When you are using SaaS LIMS, the service providers take responsibility for security or software updates and patches to keep the system up-to-date. This indicates you get enough effort and time from your IT department, enabling them to put efforts over other initiatives of the laboratories which add business values.
Disaster Recovery and Backup services:
Any business needs a perfect disaster recovery plan, and the recovery solutions & the cloud-based backup solutions which come along with the SaaS LIMS are offered without the requirements for a more significant investment, making this vital protection of data services enabling every business in the verticals.
When a SaaS LIMS provides the prospects for essential advantages, it is not the right option for any laboratory. One harmful functionality of SaaS LIMS is that it is tedious to modify the system based on the company's supported design options. Executing a SaaS LIMS in a more prominent company that already possesses a higher developing on-premise function.
Below are some of the factors that need to be considered when you choose to work with a SaaS LIMS provider.
You rely on the company to secure your sensitive data when it moves to the cloud and when you work with a SaaS LIMS. Most of the providers in the cloud perform an excellent job to offer a secure environment for your information, which are the highest vulnerabilities that are probably related to human nature.
The vital responsibility for regulatory compliances always is based on the manufacturers. Few providers lease an online-based LIMS focus on a prevalence system, and this refers to the system of the cloud provider. Apart from this, the providers of SaaS LIMS handle any software patches and upgrades to make sure that you run the most crucial system version.
You need to make sure that your SaaS LIMS has the scope to validate the informatics systems and LIMS instruments.
Service level agreement:
It's essential to create an SLA with your vendors that address any concerned areas and more. One of the best SLA can make the variations between the rollout of your SaaS time & cost and smooth execution along with the unexpected expenses made down the road.
Some of the vendors provide a private cloud option that is facilitated within the facility. The opportunity offers different advantages of SaaS LIMS, but with controlled and decreased security risks. A cloud can be single-tenant, multi-tenant, private, or public. A single-tenant cloud is simpler to less prone and validated to intrusion or data leakage.
Data integrity and audit trails:
An audit trail is vital to address various concerns of the data integrities, both from product quality and regulatory perspective. You also need to ensure that your LIMS online based SaaS has a detailed and reliable audit trail for any data, and also make sure it's controlled on two different servers when compared to the data.
Simplifying certain things can add complications to the business processes when you move to the cloud. The decision to distribute SaaS LIMS will be presented by a mix of regulatory, operational, and security concerns that are unique to any laboratory. Working with the best online-based LIMS consultant is an excellent way to make sure that your enterprises required the best value from laboratory information management to new SaaS approaches.
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