A new survey from XIFIN found a significant opportunity remains for diagnostic laboratories to improve the functionality and security of their laboratory information system (LIS), according to a news release.
Notably, more than 30% of respondents indicated that their LIS had gaps in its ability to meet their testing needs – a significant problem, considering the nation is moving to an endemic approach to infectious disease, which will continue to drive testing, along with increasing genetic testing demands. Achieving operational efficiencies throughout the lab is an important requirement for diagnostic providers, requiring an LIS infrastructure that is functional, reliable, interoperable, and highly secure.
XIFIN’s “State of the Industry: Laboratory Information Systems” study explores labs’ satisfaction with laboratory information systems provided by 18 different technology vendors plus homegrown solutions. The study also investigated LIS reliability, scalability, security, and interoperability. With very little research currently available into satisfaction levels of laboratory information systems, this report provides valuable insights into the realities of what labs think about their own LIS, including:
- Opportunities for Satisfaction Improvement - Nearly one quarter of respondents indicated they are unsatisfied (18%) or highly unsatisfied (5%) with their organization’s current LIS.
- Approximately a third of respondents indicated dissatisfaction with their LIS’s ability to meet their testing needs, a significant issue in today’s environment.
- More than a quarter stated some level of dissatisfaction with their LIS’s management reports. Overall, respondents were less satisfied with their LIS management reports than the LIS patient reports.
- System Security Awareness and Obsolescence Concerns - Nearly one quarter of respondents reported being unsure about the security of their organization’s LIS (22%) or that it has known security vulnerabilities (2%), a significant concern due to the value of healthcare data.
- Additionally, more than 40% of respondents indicated that their organization’s LIS was either not operating on the most recent software version (18%) or that they didn’t know if they were on the current version (24%). This opens the lab up to both functionality and security issues.
“XIFIN is committed to staying engaged with the diagnostic community to keep abreast of the latest market trends and satisfaction. The LIS survey demonstrates that labs need to take a hard look at their LIS and determine if now is the time to expand their technology toolkit,” said Joe Nollar, AVP LIS Product Development, XIFIN. “Labs are increasingly adopting cloud-based solutions because testing menus are constantly changing, and they need to manage shifting capacity and other operational needs as market disruption continues. Ensuring these diagnostic organizations have the ability to individualize their workflow and merge multiple lab locations into a single, unified LIS using a trusted vendor and a secure, functional, and interoperable platform is key to their successful evolution.”
The LIS is the workhorse of the lab and is vital to day-to-day workflow and functionality. These systems support operational efficiency, testing capacity and timely analytics/reporting. Anecdotally, many labs across the U.S. build their own LIS or are continuing to use an on-premises system – not taking advantage of the many benefits of a cloud-based LIS, such as collaboration, scalability, and automated software updates. Additionally, as the industry consolidates, many labs are facing the daunting task of unifying varying lab locations.
“Our team provides laboratory testing services for a wide range of specialties and have an aggressive growth strategy, which includes providing lab services to partner lab sites,” said Michael Lorenzo, Chief Operating Officer, Pathline. “By using XIFIN’s LIS platform, we are able to provide a unique LIS instance to each lab partner on a single platform, which enables us to unify our operations and workflow, and our patient and management reporting.”
The “State of the Industry: Laboratory Information Systems” survey was fielded in 2021 and included nearly 100 individuals representing laboratories across the United States to gather information such as LIS satisfaction, reliability, scalability, security, and interoperability. Respondents represented a variety of labs and associated organizations including anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, molecular diagnostics, reference laboratories, genomics laboratories, hospital outreach laboratories, pain/toxicology labs, and biopharma.