Changing landscape of the laboratory information systems market

This article first appeared in the February 2013 edition of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Big changes are underway in the laboratory information systems (LIS) market in Australia, particularly due to regional consolidation of laboratories in several states. Consolidation is just one of the trends that are affecting what funders and users are looking for in an LIS.

There are currently some very big changes occurring in the laboratory information systems sector in Australia. The well-known product implemented in several state-wide public pathology services and several national private pathology laboratories has been abruptly discontinued, which is causing many pathology providers to shop for a new LIS.

The tenders that have been produced so far by these buyers have confirmed some known global trends in the LIS sector and have brought to light some new ones.

The typical LIS implementation has a life cycle of five to 10 years or longer due to the costs of implementation and the ‘pain’ of change. And an LIS is clearly no longer considered a bespoke product.

There are a large number of vendors who now offer commercial off the shelf (COTS) functionality that is marketed to the mainstream clinical laboratory. This trend can be seen with the 25 LIS vendors currently scheduled to exhibit at HIMSS in the US this year.

Proactive vendors are providing regularly scheduled product enhancements that meet changing market demands as part of standard product maintenance on an annual basis. The average LIS has become extremely complex and the more functionality the vendors supply, the more it fuels client demands as evidenced in the requirements of recent tenders.

The large and complex laboratory service networks are typically looking for large, stable LIS vendors with a globally proven track record of success in delivering large-scale LIS implementations. The justification for an in-house IT department at a public facility to create its own LIS customisations is in question, with the readily available supply of robust and tested COTS LIS functionality and cuts in government spending.

To read the full story, click here for the February 2013 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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