InterSystems is introducing the world’s first laboratory business management system (LBMS), which will help transform the path lab from a reactive testing and results service to a proactive healthcare partner.

The LBMS announcement was made in early September 2015, followed by previews of the solution in Australia and the UK. During an exclusive interview, InterSystems’ TrakCare Laboratory Product Manager Martin Wilkinson noted that pathology services have not changed dramatically in the last 15 to 20 years despite advances in automation throughout the healthcare industry.

“Our new LBMS is a response to increasing pressure globally on healthcare laboratories to deliver more test results at lower costs. In addition, genomic and point-of-care testing (POCT) are some of the disruptive technologies driving change, so pathology labs are looking at different methods to meet new market demands,” said Wilkinson. “As a result, there’s a growing need for modern information systems that enable labs to capture and analyse data and ultimately run more efficient businesses.”

The next-generation solution is designed to capture and allow access to relevant information at every step of the testing process, and delivers the “unprecedented ability to predict and manage variable workloads.” The LBMS also gives users the ability to reduce waste and costs through streamlined workflows and standard operating procedures. In addition, LBMS supports connected care models and is interoperable with systems and shared electronic health records (EHRs) across regions and countries.

According to Wilkinson, InterSystems’ LBMS is a world first because it addresses the future IT needs of pathology labs and helps them fit into the modern healthcare delivery ecosystem. “The boundaries of pathology testing has moved out of the traditional laboratory owing to the exponential growth in POCT, and the repertoire of testing that can be done on those devices is increasing dramatically,” said Wilkinson.

“How can a pathologist make an informed decision or comment on the results of a POCT if that information isn’t stored by a hospital or existing medical record? Our new LBMS solution includes the integration of POCT with a patient pathology record to enable that interpretation,” said Wilkinson.

According to figures from the NHS in the UK, up to 70% of all clinical decisions are based on pathology results, so getting quality pathology results to clinicians quicker will improve the quality of care for the patient. Wilkinson went on to explain that the system manages turnaround times effectively between when an order is placed to when the results are available. “All the processes in the lab have a turnaround time with proactive alerting that tells you whether you are breaching your time at a particular stage,” said Wilkinson. “A laboratory manager will be able to see bottlenecks and know where to allocate additional resources to prevent delays.”

Wilkinson explained that with the LBMS, a lab’s reporting will be much faster, and results will be delivered instantly to care teams with the single shared data repository automatically directing results to the patient record. There will also be instant access to results via smart mobile devices, subject to appropriate security protocols.

“If you run more like a business, you become more efficient and compliant with accreditation and standards. As a result you’ll be able to do more and you’ll be able to survive any future market demands.”

The LBMS is web browser-based and built on InterSystems HealthShare, a healthcare informatics platform that enables interoperability; it is also IHE compliant. The new LBMS is set for a commercial launch in early 2016.

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