10 Ways a LIS Software Improves Your Laboratory Workflow and Operations

August 4, 2023
Natalie Thorburn

Image source

A laboratory information system (LIS) is the critical software platform that powers a modern laboratory, serving as the central hub for managing all operations. As laboratories handle increasing test volumes and complexity, choosing the right LIS is crucial for improving workflow, efficiency, and quality of care.

An innovative LIS like NovoPath goes beyond test ordering and reporting. It optimizes systems, enhances automation, reduces errors, and provides data-driven insights. With over 30 years of experience serving thousands of labs, NovoPath understands the unique challenges laboratories face. Their flexible LIS solutions are tailored to fit the needs of labs of all types and sizes.

Here are ten key ways a laboratory information system’s capabilities can transform your lab's performance:

1. Comprehensive Test Ordering and Result Reporting Automation

A robust LIS like NovoPath fully automates the test ordering and result reporting workflow, eliminating manual processes. Physicians can place order requests directly through interfaced EHR systems for rapid delivery to the lab. NovoPath receives these electronically, applying reflex testing protocols as needed. Barcode labeling prevents identification errors.

Once analysis is complete, results are auto-validated against customized lab-defined criteria and released to the ordering system per protocol without delay. Critical values trigger immediate notifications to care teams. Finalized reports meet clinical and regulatory requirements, reducing rejected samples. This start-to-finish automation improves turnaround time, reduces transcription errors, and maximizes efficiency.

2. End-to-End Chain of Custody Tracking and Management

NovoPath has the best-in-class chain of custody capabilities to track the flow of samples from collection through processing, testing, storage, and disposal. As specimens arrive at the lab, barcode labels are printed and scanned at each handling stage - from accessioning to aliquoting to analysis.

This robust laboratory information system documents all workflow events, recording the date, time, location, and personnel involved in vivid detail. With support for RFID tags, cold chain sensors, and mobile devices, NovoPath provides real-time visibility into sample status across the network. This helps ensure no specimens are lost, damaged, or mishandled.

3. Seamless Instrument Integration for True Auto-Verification

NovoPath integrates directly with analyzers and instruments from all major vendors to maximize efficiency using industry-standard protocols like ASTM and HL7. This bi-directional interfacing eliminates manual data entry and transcription. Once a sample is processed, results are automatically transferred to the correct patient record in NovoPath for rapid, error-free reporting.

NovoPath's advanced auto-verification logic can automatically validate most results, only flagging outliers or critical values for review. This further accelerates turnaround time while maintaining quality. With NovoPath, labs can painlessly onboard new instruments, consolidate systems, and confidently implement auto-verification.

4. Configurable Quality Control Tools to Ensure Data Integrity

Maintaining quality and data integrity is a top priority for laboratories. NovoPath's flexible QC modules automate rigorous quality control processes to meet and exceed regulatory requirements. Customizable rules validate equipment calibration, reagent stability, and test accuracy before release. Out-of-range results or quality failures trigger instant alerts for investigation and intervention when needed.

A LIS software also includes management tools for proficiency testing, instrument maintenance, document control, and corrective actions to ensure continuous compliance. With this, labs can trust that all systems are operating within specifications and only accurate, precise results reach physicians and patients. This helps avoid potentially dangerous errors and delays in care.

5. Real-Time Workload Balancing for Optimized Operations

As demand fluctuates, a robust LIS can automatically re-route samples between work cells and instruments to prevent backlogs.

This dynamic workload balancing maximizes asset utilization optimizes staff productivity, and stabilizes turnaround times, even during peak periods. Labs can seamlessly accommodate seasonal fluctuations and 24/7 operations. By leveraging NovoPath's performance analytics, labs can fine-tune workflows for greater efficiency.

6. Robust Inventory and Supply Chain Management

Managing lab supplies and inventory effectively is challenging, but a LIS simplifies the process through automation. Minimum stock levels for reagents, consumables, and other items for just-in-time reordering can be defined.

Comprehensive documentation of lot numbers, expiration dates, and suppliers ensures full traceability for audits. NovoPath's supply chain analytics identify optimization opportunities to reduce costs. This prevents over-stocking while avoiding expensive stock-outs that lead to repeat testing and delays.

7. Secure Web Access Enables System-Wide Coordination

Authorized NovoPath users can access the LIS remotely from any location through secure web interfaces and mobile apps. Clinicians can view results and details anywhere for better-coordinated care. Lab managers can monitor operations and troubleshoot issues remotely to minimize downtime. NovoPath also enables seamless management of multi-site networks, with dashboards that roll up high-level data across locations for enterprise-wide visibility.

8. Custom Reporting for Actionable Business Insights

NovoPath provides sophisticated reporting capabilities out of the box, including over 150 standard reports covering test volumes, workload statistics, quality metrics, and more. User-friendly tools allow labs to easily create or customize reports to extract data for fact-based decision-making. Turnaround time, staff productivity, and test costing dashboards quickly highlight opportunities for performance improvements and cost savings.

9. Streamlined Billing and Revenue Cycle Management

Leveraging its direct instrument connections, NovoPath accurately captures all billable tests performed to minimize lost charges and denied claims. The system checks for duplicate orders, applies correct pricing, and reduces billing errors that delay payment. NovoPath also simplifies reimbursement management with support for multiple fee schedules and insurance plans.

For labs looking to maximize reimbursement while reducing administrative burden, a LIS can provide a complete revenue cycle management solution.

10. Tools to Maintain Regulatory Compliance and Accreditation

Keeping current with changing accreditation and certification requirements can be daunting. NovoPath's integrated toolset ensures continuous compliance with CLIA, CAP, JCAHO, and other regulatory agencies. The system centralizes all compliance documentation, tracks equipment maintenance, schedules mandatory staff training, and automates proficiency testing.

With NovoPath's vigilance, labs can rest easy knowing they meet all the latest quality standards. By handling the compliance details, NovoPath reduces audit preparation time and helps labs pass inspections with flying colors.


An innovative LIS offers the breadth of functionality, flexibility, and automation needed to overcome today's laboratory challenges. With a LIS, labs can improve productivity, reduce costs, increase revenue, and deliver better patient care. Leveraging the latest technology, NovoPath provides a blueprint to transform laboratory operations.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram