7 tips on getting the perfect lab automation system for your laboratory
So you have done your research on what changes automation will bring to your laboratory operations and are convinced to get a good Laboratory Information System implemented. The most important factors that make an LIS desirable are a solution that has rich features while being cost-effective, user-friendly, and intuitive interface and the ability of the system to scale to your growing business.
Today we take you through some important factors that will help you choose the perfect software solution for you and your lab:
1. Define Limits of Your Automation
There are a lot of options available as far as automating your laboratory is concerned. Depending on your investment limit, the change acceptability amid your staff and your confidence on automating your processes, make a choice! Take a wise decision looking at your strengths and areas of improvements; never compromise on features and pick an LIS solution with incomplete modules because it is cheap. This decision can prove to be quite expensive in the future.
2. Reduce Customization As Much As Possible
No software will come custom made for your laboratory because you will have some of your unique processes, which will need customization in your LIS. After deciding how much automation you need, next in line is to define how much customization you require. Some customization may need additional investment, so make sure you choose a software that can customize the software to match your needs and processes.
3. Erase Hardware Cost
Implementation of the LIS and the associated costs especially the hardware installations and maintenance come to a hefty amount. With a growing business, one cost that will definitely keep increasing is the hardware and associated maintenance costs. Better the business, more is the data generated and more is the space required to store that data. The best bet to reducing hardware costs is to go for Cloud. Buying Cloud based LIS will eliminate cost of not just hardware but also expensive IT resources to maintain the servers.
4. Keep an Eye on the Implementation Timeline
The total implementation is considered to be complete when not just installation of the software is done but also once a thorough training of the staff and initial hand holding is completed. Timelines with target dates for each level of implementation and the cross checking of each level needs to be considered and discussed with complete clarity before the purchase decision is made.
5. Make Sure Training is a Part of the Package
A critical part of successful LIS implementation is the software being used smoothly by your staff. On a practical note, you or other pathologists at the lab will be using the software at your diagnostic center; but not as much as your staff. It is their routine that will undergo major changes with the decision to automate your lab. While choosing the Laboratory Information System make sure that the operational complexities of the software is an easy maze for your staff to wade through. Most vendors provide on-site or over the web training but choose the software partner considering the IT proficiency of your staff so you get the best possible support. Also make sure that the training is part of the package and your staff gets trained thoroughly by your IT vendor.
6.Talk About Post-Sales Technical Support Too
Bought. Installed. Trained. Implemented. What about an unforeseen hiccup after implementation? Every staff would have understood the technicalities in a different way and there could be a hiccup owing to wrong use or a situation that was not a market reality while implementing the software. It is crucial that technical, functional and training support should be available post-sales. Be sure to negotiate a profitable association for the laboratory while considering support post-sales. Also be sure to check about the regular software upgrades.
7. Mobile Applications
Automation should not just help you male the processes faster but should allow user to save time in best of ways. One of them is availability of data on the go. LIS which not only takes care of the process but also makes helps pathologists approve reports anywhere, anytime can prove to be extremely useful.
While these are some basic points that could help you with your LIS purchase decision, you may also want to check credibility of the partner and not insist on cost being the only factor for your decision as it could hurt your business, revenue and credibility in the long run.