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What is the best LIS software?

June 27, 2024 | Daniel Doll
Lab manager working with two monitors, each showing to of the best LIS software available.

A laboratory information system (LIS) is a critical component of the modern laboratory. The LIS serves as the central platform for managing and organizing laboratory data, enhancing workflow efficiency, and ensuring the quality and accuracy of diagnostic processes.

As laboratories continue to evolve and face increasing demands for improved operational performance and regulatory compliance, it has become more challenging to find the best LIS software.

In this article, we will…

  • Share the three best LIS software options available today
  • Delve into the distinct capabilities that set the best laboratory information systems apart from the competition
  • Explore the essential features that every LIS should have

What are the best laboratory information systems?

Let’s be specific. The LIS software that is perfect for your lab may not be the same LIS software that is right for the next lab down the street. To that end, an expert like the ones on staff at CompuGroup Medical can help you narrow down the choices and find the best LIS for your unique needs.

Consider these top choices for the North American and international laboratory markets:

Lab techs using CGM LABDAQ LIS software

A longtime market leader, CGM LABDAQ offers every standard LIS module or function that is common throughout the industry and continues to be optimized for speed and performance. CGM LABDAQ outperforms other systems in terms of functionality with its powerful rules engine, built-in analytics, PCR support for microbiology testing, a real-time pending dashboard, support for molecular testing, and more.

Lab tech using the CGM SCHUYLAB LIS software

Incredibly full-featured and approachable with its icon-based interface, CGM SCHUYLAB stands apart with its fully integrated billing option and support for multiple languages with respect to both users and for patient results. Rich reporting options can be easily customized by the user, including the necessary reports for CLIA inspections and quality assurance monitoring.

A smiling lab tech at the microscope
A fully SaaS-based application, CGM AP EASY is by far the easiest anatomic pathology system on the market—easy to use, easy to implement, easy to learn. Its flexibility and reporting speak to its status as a powerful, full-featured LIS while its cloud-based implementation and intuitive interface also make it the most approachable LIS option. With multifactor authentication to secure clinical data and the ability to integrate with digital pathology systems, CGM AP EASY is the best LIS software for anatomic pathology.

What are the top features of the best LIS software?

The essentials are one thing—and we’ll cover those in a moment—but what lifts any option up to the level of being the best LIS software for your lab? Let’s look for the things that help the best systems stand apart:

  • Comprehensive integration capabilities

The best laboratory information systems excel in their ability to seamlessly integrate with a wide array of laboratory instruments and automation systems, allowing for efficient data exchange and interoperability. This integration capability ensures that data from various sources can be consolidated within the LIS for streamlined analysis and reporting. The automation and interfaces not only save time, they also reduce the potential for keystroking errors.

Beyond the lab, the leading LIS systems offer multiple ways for independent labs to connect to providers including cloud-based portals and direct EHR interfaces. Communication with providers that are referring business to labs is a critical and differentiating element of any lab’s business offering.

  • Advanced data management and analysis

Leading LIS solutions offer advanced data management and analysis including support for data mining and sophisticated reporting and visualization capabilities. These features enable laboratories to derive meaningful insights from large datasets and support complex testing protocols, particularly in research and reference laboratory settings.

  • Specialized functionality for different laboratory settings

The best laboratory information systems are designed to cater to the specific needs of different types of laboratories such as clinical, veterinary, forensic, and anatomic pathology laboratories. This includes specialized functionality tailored to each setting, such as digital pathology integration for anatomic pathology laboratories. Through an advanced technique known as aliasing, different data fields can be modified to better serve the unique needs of a unique setting. For example, a veterinary lab will track breeds and owners, and through custom fields and aliasing, the best laboratory information software can support this.

  • Support for digital pathology

In the context of anatomic pathology laboratories, the best LIS solutions offer comprehensive support for digital pathology, including integrations for image management, slide tracking, and pathology diagnosis workflows. These systems facilitate the transition to digital pathology, enabling pathologists to efficiently analyze and interpret diagnostic images, as well as collaborate with colleagues in remote locations. Integrations to support digital pathology capabilities streamline the process of generating comprehensive pathology reports and enhance the overall efficiency of pathology workflows.

  • Enhanced data security and privacy measures

The best lab management software prioritizes data security and privacy, implementing extensive measures to safeguard sensitive patient information and laboratory data. This includes features such as role-based access controls, encryption protocols, multifactor authentication, and compliance with data protection regulations, ensuring that patient confidentiality and data integrity are maintained.

An expert like the ones on staff at CompuGroup Medical can help you narrow down the choices and find the best LIS for your unique needs.

  • Advanced reporting and visualization tools

Leading LIS solutions are equipped with advanced reporting and visualization tools that enable laboratories to generate comprehensive reports, interpret data trends, and communicate findings effectively. These tools facilitate the creation of customizable reports, graphical representations of test results, and data visualization dashboards, empowering laboratory staff to gain valuable insights from laboratory data and support informed decision-making.

  • Ongoing support and training services

The best laboratory information systems are backed by comprehensive support and training services, ensuring that laboratory staff receive the necessary guidance and assistance to maximize the benefits of the LIS. This includes access to technical support, regular software updates, and training resources to enhance user proficiency and ensure the successful implementation and utilization of the LIS within the laboratory environment.

  • Adaptability to evolving technological trends

In an era of rapid technological advancement, the best LIS solutions demonstrate an ability to adapt to evolving trends and innovations in laboratory medicine. This includes support for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), multifactor authentication, a variety of server-hosting setups, and more.

Building on the strength of the leading laboratory information systems, labs can leverage these technologies to improve diagnostic accuracy, streamline workflows, and enhance operational efficiency—all factors that can improve a lab’s bottom line.

  • Continuous improvement and innovation

Leading LIS vendors prioritize continuous improvement and innovation, actively seeking feedback from laboratory stakeholders and incorporating user-driven enhancements into their software offerings. By fostering a culture of innovation and responsiveness to customer needs, these vendors ensure that their adaptable and scalable LIS solutions remain at the forefront of technological advancements and industry best practices.

What are the essential features of a laboratory information system?

When you’re evaluating laboratory information systems, or lab management software, it’s important to only consider options that minimally cover these key essentials:

  • Specimen tracking and management

An effective LIS should provide robust capabilities for tracking and managing specimens throughout the testing process. This includes features such as barcode scanning, specimen identification, and chain of custody tracking to ensure the accurate and efficient handling of samples from collection to analysis.

  • Result reporting and data analysis

Although it can vary greatly, every LIS should offer comprehensive result reporting and data analysis tools, enabling the creation of accurate and timely test results, as well as the ability to analyze and interpret data to support clinical decision-making.

  • Quality control and assurance

Quality control and assurance functionalities are essential components of an LIS, ensuring that testing processes adhere to established standards and regulatory requirements. This includes the ability to monitor and maintain the quality of testing procedures, track deviations, and implement corrective actions when necessary.

  • Instrument interfacing and automation

Integration with laboratory instruments and automation systems is crucial for streamlining data collection, reducing manual entry errors, and optimizing workflow efficiency. An LIS should be capable of interfacing with a wide range of instruments and automation platforms to facilitate seamless data exchange.

  • Regulatory compliance and accreditation support

LIS solutions should incorporate built-in regulatory compliance features and provide comprehensive support for accreditation processes, ensuring that laboratories can adhere to industry standards and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. This includes features such as audit trails, electronic signatures, and tools for monitoring quality control.

  • Inventory management

Effective management of laboratory inventory, including reagents, supplies, and consumables, is a fundamental function of an LIS. The system should provide tools for inventory tracking, ordering, and stock level management to ensure the availability of necessary resources for testing procedures.

  • User-friendly interface and workflow customization

An intuitive and user-friendly interface is essential for optimizing user adoption and operational efficiency. Additionally, the ability to customize workflows and processes within the LIS to align with the specific needs of different laboratory settings is a valuable feature.

  • Scalability and interoperability

Scalability and interoperability are critical aspects of an LIS, allowing the system to adapt to evolving laboratory requirements and seamlessly integrate with other healthcare information systems, such as electronic health records (EHR) and laboratory information management systems (LIMS).

What's the next step for finding the best LIS?

The best laboratory information systems encompass a wide range of essential features and distinctive capabilities that set them apart in the competitive landscape of healthcare technology.

From comprehensive integration and advanced data management tools to specialized functionality for different laboratory settings and robust support for regulatory compliance, the leading LIS solutions are designed to meet the diverse needs of modern laboratories.

Contact us at CompuGroup Medical.

We are your leading LIS provider for everything from simple, point-of-care testing to physician office labs and complex, independent reference labs. You understand the big picture. Now let us help with the details.

Our experts will help you take stock of the software landscape, assess your laboratory’s specific needs, and help you find the best lab management system for you. We will:

  • Host product demonstrations
  • Facilitate analyzer and EHR connectivity
  • Schedule timely implementation and training
  • Offer highly rated, ongoing technical support

CompuGroup Medical is a leader in e-health technology with an established, worldwide presence—more than 1.6 million users in more than 60 countries. CompuGroup Medical offers leading LIS, EHR, practice management, EDI, and billing services.

Find the lab management software that is best for you, and consolidate your efforts with one trusted, globally recognized vendor.

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