If you were explaining Visiun, Inc. to someone who is not familiar with the organization, how would you characterize its primary areas of expertise? Visiun provides performance analytics to the laboratory industry. Our core product, Performance Insight, provides laboratory directors and managers with business intelligence and analytics to help their management teams monitor key service commitments and improve workflow, quality, and financial performance. With a depth of analytics that we believe is unsurpassed in the laboratory industry and a team of experienced laboratorians, we use data from the LIS and EMR to offer a wide variety of reporting that provides immediate insight into key aspects of laboratory performance. We have seen the value of analytics to support “daily management” by helping managers continuously improve their turnaround time to make their labs top performers.
What are the major categories of solutions that Visiun provides for its customers? Performance Insight provides immediate insight into key areas that are critical to success in today's laboratory, including turnaround times, outreach, productivity and workflow, quality, peer comparison, quality control, and test utilization. Access to this type of reporting is transforming the way managers and their teams are able to work together to meet the challenges of today's environment.
On your website, you assert that “Visiun can now provide sigma level performance of IVD vendors to assist clients with vendor selection.” How can operational performance and efficiency be measured most concretely? In the past, sigma rankings of vendors have been published based on proficiency testing results. These past studies are largely inadequate because they were limited to a few chemistry analytes, do not reflect current IVD models, and were based on proficiency testing generally conducted under ideal conditions. In contrast, Visiun's sigma metrics cover more than 250 analytes representing all of clinical pathology, including Chemistry/Heme/Coag/UA. We cover real-world conditions reflecting day-to-day operations, from all vendors and all current instrument models.
Please tell our readers about Performance Insight's Test Utilization module. How does it serve your customers' needs? The move away from fee-for-service toward other modules of reimbursement has managers increasingly focused on reducing unnecessary testing. Visiun's Test Utilization module is designed to help laboratories identify opportunities to accomplish that goal. Our test utilization reporting identifies key opportunities within an hour of deployment. We help our clients to reduce unnecessary testing expenses by anywhere from several hundred thousand to more than a million dollars per year for inpatient testing alone. This results in an immediate improvement to the health system's bottom line.
Quality control issues are paramount for clinical lab directors nowadays. How have your company's solutions evolved to address changing customer needs? Our Quality Control reporting supports development of the CMS/CLIA prescribed “Individualized Quality Control Plan” (IQCP) based on C
LSI EP23 guidelines. It offers two major benefits to our customers. First, it supports real-time assessment of instrument performance. Many labs today still rely on peer comparison reports for QC that arrive six or more weeks after an instrument problem occurs. Second, Performance Insight supports best practices using sigma ratings of instruments for each analyte to determine the appropriate number and frequency of QC samples to run. In some cases laboratories perform unnecessary QC that costs tens of thousands of dollars per year. Even worse, if QC practices are not properly implemented, the result can include repeat testing, unnecessary follow-up testing, or even misdiagnoses.
Automation is a significant issue for most labs. How do you help labs decide what, how, and how much to automate? Automation represents an important opportunity for many labs. It can improve performance and reduce defects by eliminating a number of manual process steps. Many consultants recommend evaluation of automation, but only after a program of Lean improvement has been applied. A familiar saying in conference presentations is, “Don't automate a bad process.” So, lab directors should apply Lean principles, first. There is also a return on investment (ROI) aspect to consider. There is an attractive ROI for large labs, but not necessarily for smaller facilities.
Your company provides business intelligence and analytics to leading academic medical centers and large health systems, as well as small community hospitals. How have you been able to help this wide array of clients? The challenges faced by laboratory managers are, in some respects, the same for all laboratories, regardless of size. We have had the benefit of working with a great number of exceptionally bright managers, who bring a continuous stream of requests for new reporting and flexibility. That is one reason Performance Insight provides the depth and wide range of reporting that addresses their challenges. Another important aspect of our company is that we are all medical technologists, with the exception of our development team. Our work to help clients succeed in addressing key challenges is a tribute to the many individuals who bring decades of lab experience and expertise to the development and support of our product.