LIMS are out of step with industry changes, says survey

Wednesday, 02 December, 2015

Current information systems are not equipped to support the changes clinical laboratories are undergoing, according to the InterSystems Australian Laboratory Management Systems Market Survey 2015.

Conducted at the AACB 53rd Annual Scientific Conference in September, the survey of clinical laboratory professionals found there is pressure to meet demand using fewer resources. When asked what was driving change in their laboratories, 75% of respondents cited cost savings and efficiencies, 63% said automation and 33% said patient-centred care.

“The nature of the laboratory business is changing dramatically,” said Martin Wilkinson, head of InterSystems’ solutions for the laboratory market. “Industry consolidation, advances in automation, genomic testing and the increased use of point-of-care testing are driving major shifts in where, when and how testing takes place.”

When asked how their laboratories were changing, 65% of respondents said the laboratory will operate as part of a multisite laboratory network, while 60% said that the laboratory will continually analyse and improve its processes. A significantly higher percentage of public laboratories cited these factors (83% and 66%), compared with private labs (50% and 56%).

Other key findings included the following:

  • 75% of respondents said complete visibility, control and accountability over the testing process are important to the success of their laboratory in the future.
  • 62% said the ability to predict laboratory workloads and pinpoint bottlenecks is important to their laboratory’s future success; at public labs, the figure was 83%.
  • 29% of public lab respondents agreed their current LIMS is able to support changes their laboratory is undergoing.
  • 65% of all respondents said their LIMS cannot provide analysis of which tests are running at a profit and which at a loss.
  • 59% of public lab respondents indicated that their current system does not have the ability to predict laboratory workloads and pinpoint bottlenecks.

“According to the survey, current laboratory information management systems, or LIMS, fall short of what labs need, particularly in public laboratories,” said Wilkinson. “To survive and thrive, laboratories require a new generation of informatics solutions, designed to manage the lab as an agile, knowledge-driven business in an increasingly interconnected world.”

InterSystems used the conference to preview what it claims is the world’s first laboratory business management system (LBMS), due for release in early 2016. Wilkinson said the InterSystems LBMS will “help customers transform from a reactive testing and results service to a proactive healthcare partner”.

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