InterSystems goes beyond the 3Rs with next-gen lab solution

InterSystems is set to launch a next-generation laboratory business management system (LBMS) early next year that promises to take laboratory information management beyond simply addressing the 3Rs to being able to analyse information at each stage, no matter where the data is captured.

Called InterSystems TrakCare Laboratory Enterprise, the development of the new system was announced today, with a preview of its capabilities to be shown at the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) conference in Sydney later this month. It is set for a commercial launch early in 2016.

InterSystems' head of solutions for the laboratory market, Martin Wilkinson, said the difference between contemporary laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and next-gen LBMS was the depth that the latter could explore.

“Standard management is about plan, do and review as a cycle of activity, and laboratory information management systems tend to concentrate on the doing,” Mr Wilkinson said. “In pathology terms we refer to that as the 3Rs: request the pathology test, results of pathology tests, and reports of pathology tests. That's the doing and that's the main core business of the pathology environment.

“What we are doing with an LBMS is expanding on the 3Rs. Every lab system on the planet has to do the 3Rs well, but we are building a capability to go into much more depth on what is happening under the covers of a pathology service.”

Mr Wilkinson said laboratory services were changing massively as more and more point-of-care testing is carried out, personalised devices begin to come to the fore and the massive datasets that genomic testing is set to unleash. TrakCare Laboratory Enterprise will be set up to handle these developments, as well as to allow a much greater level of granularity on the steps that labs take to get from request to report, he said.

“They can then analyse things like turnaround times at every stage of the process involved in that report. They can understand where they are taking too long, set targets for themselves, measuring their performance against those targets in real time as well as some alerting that they are breaching those targets.

“The laboratory is no longer constrained within the walls of the lab – laboratory testing is done all over the place these days and that even extends past the point of care to personalised devices. We are trying to build a greater level of accuracy and quality into pathology through integration of point of care results.”

While point-of-care testing is increasingly prevalent, many of these devices are still not integrated into the patient's result history or the electronic health record. InterSystems is working on the concept of a contiguous pathology patient record that is integrated within the electronic health record and includes all test data, including point-of-care test results.

“When a clinician in a laboratory approves a test result, they look back at previous results but of course if point of care testing is not integrated into that result history for the patient in the pathology record, then they are only looking at half the picture,” he said. “Results from point-of-care devices and beyond that personalised devices are not universally adopted as part of the clinical record, but I'm sure there will be in the future.

“The system is built with that in mind, and more importantly as we go into the world of personalised medicine, then InterSystems has the technology to handle massive datasets. Genomic testing is a massive dataset, and we can incorporate genomic testing into the solution over time.”

TrakCare Laboratory Enterprise has been developed here in Australia but is built on InterSystems' HealthShare platform, so it will be Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) compatible.

Mr Wilkinson said an LBMS will enable laboratories to work differently. Not only will they communicate lab results electronically, but they will also identify their derivation, including workflows, equipment and personnel involved, regardless of where they are located.

InterSystems describes other features of an LBMS as:

  • Distributed sample processing: samples may be collected in one location, processed at another, analysed at a third, and digitally referred to yet another location for a second opinion.
  • Accountability and process improvement: complete visibility and control over the testing process, including which tests are running at a profit and which ones at a loss, –will enable greater accountability and allow laboratories to continually improve processes and optimise distributed workflows and resources.
  • Efficiency through automation: standard operating procedures with full auditability will not only support distribution of workflows across multiple sites, but also drive further automation by decreasing the percentage of tests requiring manual intervention.
  • Patient-centric care: support for connected care models will put patients at the centre of the testing process with a contiguous pathology patient record, integrated within the electronic health record, including all test data –and point-of-care test results.
  • Quality assurance: lab professionals will extend quality assurance outside of the laboratory using asset management functionality for equipment data, with maintenance events viewed and analysed alongside patient test results.

The new system will be previewed at the AACB 53rd Annual Scientific Conference at Sydney Olympic Park from September 15 to 17.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: InterSystems, TrakCare

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