Quality management is an important requirement of most of the laboratory and sample analysis systems relating to various industrial and clinical setups. These labs need to take various products and toxicology samples periodically at different stages of the process cycle and keep a track record of them for analysis and further processing. Same holds true for hospitals and clinical testing setups as each of these also requires an effective quality management setup to ensure a track record of step-by-step quality control processes.
An efficient quality management system enables the labs and clinics to effectively manage the errors caused during a certain routine process by detecting and correcting it in an efficient manner.
What is Quality?
Quality in a Laboratory environment is to detect, reduce, and correct deficiencies in internal analytical processes prior to the release of patient results, in order to improve the results reported.
Every organization ensures to design its quality policy in accordance with the practices and international quality standards. Quality management is not a onetime process instead it is a continuous process which makes sure that the quality control and assurance is maintained from start to the end process effectively and efficiently.
Quality management is to design a complete quality system which is able to ensure reliable and highest standards of diagnostic services to patients, secure and confidential reporting mechanism to client and a safe motivated working environment to the lab staff.
Quality Management Using LIS
Laboratory Information System is a healthcare management system designed to store and record data for diagnostic laboratories. The system controls and automates the complete workflow of clinical laboratories for various healthcare organizations.
An LIS system is responsible for registration of patients, laboratory billing, accounting, MIS, third party integration, etc.
Typical LIS System Functions
To manage and report the important data of a lab such as patient records relevant to case history, immunology, etc a standard LIS supports the complete operations of public health institutes and the labs or clinics associated with them.
Some of its important functions are:
- Quality Assurance
- Workflow Management
- Patient Data tracking
- Test ordering
- Workload and managerial reporting
- Lab order comparison
- Record management of patients
How LIS Functionality helps improve Quality Management
LIS system is designed such that its every module is equipped with built-in features to ensure quality control and assurance at every step so that its management is easy for the relevant managers from start to the end process.
- Efficient Services
A good LIS system enables labs to provide excellent and efficient lab services to patients which are affordable, relevant and offer patient care. LIS provide facilities to generate and send reports, generates invoices and helps to access archived data and retrieve it through its inherent modular functionalities.
- Maintenance of Laboratory Records
An LIS offers a proper maintenance of record and archiving of patient information and collected samples by encoding or bar-coding. LIS provides accuracy of data to reduce error and enhance quality control by verification of data at the input stage and helps to reduce missed deadlines and false results.
- Effective Communication
LIS enables the labs in an effective communication between all the stakeholders and involved departments which ensures a step towards effective quality management. By properly coordinating with relevant lab departments and electronically notifying the customers, generating invoices and desired internal and external reports LIS ensures an end to end communication channel.
- Ensures Audit and Control
An LIS system ensures that all quality control and assurance standards are in place and every process carried out is well documented, communicated, implemented, understood by the involved parties, appropriately reviewed and auditable.
By keeping a track of each activity throughout the processes and audit trails, LIS ensures audit and management control.
- Trained and Qualified staff
An LIS system makes sure that the staff using it is properly qualified, trained and competent to perform the routine tasks by periodic training sessions and product documentation.
Tracking staff productivity LIS increases throughput and helps staff to conveniently document the necessary lab data and enables them to make effective use of their time.
- Validated and Standardized Processes
LIS ensures that all the processes are validated and standardized in accordance with internationally accepted practices and standards so that they are subject to the quality control and assessment practices. By integration with HIS and other third party systems LIS proves to be an excellent quality management tool.
- Calibrated Instrumentation
LIS helps to ensure that the lab instruments and supplies are calibrated and the related services function properly. All the consumables and supplies support clinical laboratory requirements and meet the needed specifications. By providing quality control of analyzers and instruments through its inherent modules LIS proves to be an efficient quality management tool.