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As Electronic Medical Record (EMR) adoption continues to expand and hospital organizations strive for interoperability, many organizations are considering the move from a best-of-breed Laboratory Information System to an Enterprise solution with an innately integrated Laboratory Information System (LIS) component.

The traditional best-of-breed LIS model allows for a stand-alone laboratory system which provides the flexibility to choose products with the most features for each department within the laboratory. This domain-specific approach enables the laboratory to be adaptable and work with specialized vendors to adopt new technology while maintaining the flexibility to update and replace software components as needed and minimize any potential risks to downstream applications or departments.

Moving away from the best-of-breed model supports the vision of hospital organizations need for interoperability and standardization. The Enterprise solutions better fit into the institutional systems, while achieving a higher level of integration amongst hospital administrative, clinical and financial applications and workflows as well as lowering the total cost of ownership, vendor contracts and dependencies on interfaces.

From a laboratory viewpoint, the notion moving from a best-of-breed LIS model to an integrated LIS solution can often feel like a forced initiative and a daunting undertaking.

The time, effort, expertise and collaboration needed to bring together an EMR and a laboratory information system successfully is often underestimated in scope and can be discouraging, regardless of which solution is selected.

By taking a methodical approach towards system selection that best fits your organization’s needs, appropriately scoping the project, resources, and timelines as well as surrounding your team with experienced resources you can turn this daunting project into a more achievable and realistic endeavor.

How to be successful:

  • Establish active communication amongst the hospital executive team and laboratory stakeholders into the selection and decision process
  • Ensure all decision makers have active roles when defining system requirements
  • Evaluate both Enterprise and Best of Breed solutions
  • Ensure decision makers have a full understanding of system functionality and any limitations
  • Identify gaps in workflows, processes and system functionality as potential risks or as opportunities for enhancements
  • Realistically prioritize gaps and enhancement opportunities
  • Properly scope the project plan, resource allocation, and timelines
  • Organize an integrated team with leadership that has strong application and integration experience

Do not try doing it all by yourself, but consider having outside independent consultants help with the analysis, decisions, scoping and implementation process.

The clinical laboratory is an essential part of the hospital eco-system. When issues arise within the laboratory, it is often amplified downstream as it can impact all departments that rely on timely and accurate test results.

The laboratory consultants at Optimum Healthcare IT work with healthcare organizations to become a more strategic laboratory operation by identifying with your team the areas of need and improvement. As partners, we provide knowledgeable resources to develop and execute strategic direction and priorities. Our goal is to help organizations improve the quality of testing, optimize operational efficiencies, implement new technologies and software that will help our clients to solve their problems and achieve their goals.

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