Having a highly effective LIS is a must in today’s laboratory. An LIS can boost laboratory productivity and efficiency and help free laboratorians for other hands-on tasks. Therefore, selecting the best-fit LIS for your lab is extremely important. Because every laboratory is unique, you must select an LIS that meets the specific requirements of your testing menu and your patient population.
Additionally, choosing an LIS is not simply a matter of features and functionality. Most LIS companies offer similar features. Your decision runs deeper than that. First, you need an LIS vendor partner with enough foresight and flexibility to be able to change and grow alongside your organization. Second, you need reliable service and support for the lifetime of the software. And third, you must consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) in your organization’s budget.
A Simple Checklist
In addition to selecting the LIS appropriate for your type of laboratory and laboratory departments, and beyond a functionality checklist, your LIS should include:
Along with functionality fit, you need vendor fit—a vendor that will work alongside you to ensure a smooth implementation and will stand by you when changes within your facility occur that affect the system.
More Resources for LIS Selection Guidance
Researching to find the best LIS for your lab is an individual laboratory journey. Below are a few resources that may be helpful to get you thinking through the process and asking the right questions.
The Ideal Laboratory Information System Journal Article
If you need a basic understanding of what an LIS should be able to do, there is an excellent paper in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine journal. Though the paper is from 2013, the authors do a good job summarizing LIS functionality through the total testing process, which may help you think through how you want an LIS to fit into your workflow.
Pathology Informatics LIS Functionality Assessment Toolkit
For a more detailed look into LIS functionality, the Association for Pathology Informatics offers a comprehensive LIS Functionality Assessment Toolkit. The toolkit includes four parts:
We're Here to Help: Download Orchard's LIS Resources
Create Your Own RFP With Orchard's RFP Template
Orchard provides an RFP template that can be used to create your own RFP or simply to help you think through the functionality items you might include in your laboratory’s LIS investigation.
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