11 Signs indicating it is time to change your LIS
1. Are you typing or clicking? Seriously, typing??
When I was a child, my dad bought me an Apple II (which sort of tells you my age). It was a really cool computer and it could do anything – as long as that thing came in green, and I could type exactly what I wanted it to do in Applesoft BASIC. Then came the 80s.
If your system still requires you to type, if a black box window is something that is a part of your LIS – then you might want to consider a new LIS.
2. Fault proof and disaster recovery. Are you ready?
I was in NY City in the big power outage of 2003. It was an amazing thing. Suddenly, the city that never stops, was quiet. There was no air-condition hum, no noise, the trains did not work. I remember the restaurants that served free ice cream to anyone who walked by. It was either that, or the ice cream would have melted. I guess they did not have a backup generator.
When we are talking about your lab, things are much more complex. You need to be able not only to keep a perfect copy of your databases, but in some cases you might want to continue to operate even if your main facility shuts down for any reason.
If your current LIS does not support these options, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
3. Your LIS is no longer supported by the original vendor.
Your system still works. And it is as good as it was the day that you bought it, which was a few years ago. You even have a couple of guys sitting in the back office fixing things. You might even think that you are lucky, since you do not have to pay maintenance to a vendor that does not exist. But trust me. You are driving a Datsun. You might be getting from one place to another, but your inability to answer the needs of your clients and to save costs is hurting your business.
If you know what I am talking about, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
4. You are outsourcing your billing.
Nobody cares about your money more than you do. Nobody understands your business better than you do. Billing for lab work is one of the most important facets of the modern lab industry. Inefficient billing could be the difference between a successful lab and one that will not make it in the next few years.
If you are paying someone else to do your billing, you might be spending money and you might be losing money. If this is the case, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
5. Downtime – Anything below 99.99% uptime is simply unacceptable.
Your LIS is your driving engine. You simply cannot afford a system that is not reliable enough. The question is, what is enough? A system that cannot support 99.99% uptime might be detrimental to your business.
If you find yourself taking down your system – for maintenance, due to bugs, or because you have to change your server – then you might want to consider a new LIS.
6. It takes more than a day to train a new staff member to operate your current LIS.
I am not talking about your super-user, this is about basic operation that is required to maintain a lab station. If the learning curve of your LIS is not steep enough, then you have people learning your LIS instead of people working and bringing in profit. If that is the case, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
7. You have more than one site, and you need to sync DBs/systems.
With the consolidations of several labs in the US, labs have more than one facility. I am amazed to see that some of these labs do not share the same database. This leads to all kinds of difficulties. If your system does not support multi-site, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
8. Your ratio of tests VS manpower has not increased in the recent years.
Automation is the name of the game. In a nutshell, if the result of a test is exactly what the doctor expected it to be, then there is no reason for somebody to intervene in the processing of that test. The ROI of an LIS stems from the fact that it releases your manpower to do things that they can do and your computer system cannot. If your staff is still doing things that can be automated, then you might want to consider a new LIS. Your LIS solution is good enough, but your laboratory has not grown in the recent years.
9. Your business is stagnant.
A good LIS is a stepping stone to a bigger and more efficient laboratory. It enables the lab manager to appeal to new clients, give better service, develop new specialties, and to grow. There could be dozens of reasons why your business is stagnant. But if you’ve ruled out all of them, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
10. You asked your LIS vendor to do anything, anything at all, and he told you it can’t be done.
It might be complicated, it might be costly, but if it’s important for your business – then it can be done. If somebody tells you otherwise, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
11. It has been 5 years since you have last evaluated your LIS options.
You might have the best LIS system in the market. Or not. But if you did not check, then you might be using an outdated system or simply not be aware of new options that are available out there. If this is the case, then you might want to consider a new LIS.
In other words, if you feel that your LIS limits you, perhaps it is time for a change. Contact us to find the right LIS for your lab.