A Laboratory Information System (LIS), also referred to as Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), is a component of a Health Information System or a type of information technology. In essence, it is a computer software system designed to collect, process, store, and manage pertinent data to the functions and operations of a clinical laboratory. Such data include test orders or requests, patient information or record, laboratory results, staff information, financial or accounting records, inventory of materials and equipment, and the like. This kind of system serves as an all-in-one platform where most, if not all operations, are centralized, which means that it can be accessed and managed by everyone in an institution. Thus, it allows integration with other departments, say, in a hospital, which provides efficiency in the workflow of the employees.
As aforementioned, LIS is used to register, process, manage, and store patient information such as their profile, medical history, etc. In line with that, it also maintains and improves patient information security and confidentiality, especially when relaying such information to other departments. It is also utilized to record and manage finances such as the invoices or accounts of the patient, and budget allocation for the services and equipment utilized by the laboratory and its staff to aid in the maintenance or betterment of the workplace and the workforce. Aside from patient records, another data that can be managed through this system is the staff master list. Doctor’s orders or requests for tests can also be done through the LIS, as well as storing, managing, and disseminating patient results to the physician and related departments, which again, helps in keeping the confidentiality of the patient’s data. Overall, the implementation of a LIS helps in the quality assurance of the laboratory, to make sure that every process done in this area and every service provided are of high quality, which will consequently help in improving our health system.
Another technological advancement being used in the healthcare setting right now, even if it is still under development, is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Artificial Intelligence in healthcare is used in various tasks and areas. A few examples of the uses of AI in the healthcare setting are virtual assistants for the staff, personal health companions for the patients, and automated diagnosis. Although initially, when we talk about AI, what comes into our mind is that it would eventually replace manpower and make the employees’ function obsolete. However, it is not entirely possible since a large portion still of the global health system won’t be able to implement such technology. Hence, many would still be using the standard methods for many of the processes in the healthcare setting.