The client’s rapid growth had outstripped the capabilities of their Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), limiting the company’s growth and constraining their laboratory operations in numerous ways. It was difficult to add new tests, create new workflows, or customize the LIMS in any way, which can be a tremendous drawback in the rapidly evolving field of molecular diagnostics.
The aging LIMS was not integrated with their instrumentation, so paper documentation was required to adequately manage the testing process. Once the tests were completed, it was necessary to manually enter the test results into an Excel file and do a great deal of data manipulation to prepare the information for the pathologists who would study and interpret the data.
Perhaps the biggest productivity problem created by the client’s LIMS was the time it took their pathologists to review the test data and create a report for their clients. This added unnecessary costs to what was already the most expensive step in the molecular diagnostic process.
The Technossus team replaced the aging LIMS with Helix, a highly flexible, state-of-the-art LIMS which was easily customized to the client’s needs. This gave the company the ability to rapidly scale their operations by expanding the volume of their existing testing services and adding new types of testing services.
Technossus created immediate productivity increases by integrating all of the client’’s instrumentation with the new LIMS, eliminating the need to manually manage the testing process on paper. It also helped in streamlining the process of preparing the data for presentation to the pathologists. By customizing the LIMS to automatically prepare and batch reports according to the types of test results, Technossus enabled the client’s pathologists to dramatically reduce the average amount of time it took to review and analyze each patient’s data, yet still generate more informative reports. Because pathologist time is expensive, this was one of the most profitable system improvements created by the new LIMS installation. Customer satisfaction was improved with the creation of more user-friendly reports and the addition of a client portal that allows a physician direct, 24×7 access to the test results they have ordered. The Technossus team also integrated the new LIMS with the client’s existing billing system, which made it possible for the company to automatically generate invoices. This rapidly reduced the time to receive payments and improved cash flow.
The new LIMS improved both productivity and profitability. The estimated capacity of the pathologists has increased over 50%, which will allow them to expand services without significant increases in pathologist staffing. The client is also able to significantly improve their profit margins by reducing the volume of testing that is sent to outside labs because of the lack of capacity. Furthermore, the company is able to add new types of tests to their services, which gives the ability to sell to a broader range of customers who may need certain types of tests that the client was not previously able to provide. Finally, the testing turnaround time has been reduced, allowing seriously ill cancer patients to be treated more quickly.