Hospital merger and acquisition activity is changing Healthcare. Healthcare Organizations grow steadily by acquiring more hospitals, local medical institutions and specialist organizations. Hospitals are highly complex organizations, typically with thousands of employees and hundreds of admissions and operations performed every day, in large spread-out areas. Acquisition generates a wider organization that operates in a multi-hospital, multi-lab, multi-service environment and needs an advanced information technology platform.
A multi-lab software platform is a must for the complex multi-hospital business model. Multi-lab is a demanding software. The duties include order management, patient management, test management and even test result management in many sites and segments.
Segmentation and showing the correct test catalog by segment add complexity. The traditional approach for test ordering sound simple, but managing orders including segments, is complex. Steps like automatic generation of a new order for one or more receiving lab, that includes part of the order tests, up to the final assembling of test results from many engaged labs, makes an add-on difficulty.
Test attribution is a feature that impacts multi-lab functionality. There are different test reference values, depending on the analyzers and the reagents that each laboratory use. This may generate two or more different tests for the same named ordered test. Attributes can also be rendered to specific labs or test profiles. Legacy laboratory software cannot handle efficiently the multi-lab procedures.
A case study
A Group of Healthcare Organizations consisted of four hospitals and a number of smaller diagnostic institutes was seeking to implement a Multi-Lab Networking solution between the facilities. Each hospital has its own lab. A central laboratory serves all the four hospitals and the diagnostic institutes, that share their samples with the central labs.
The Administration of the Group was looking to form a ‘unified laboratory’ but still continue working with the separate hospital labs, licensed under the hospital names. Each hospital desired to maintain its autonomy and independence, while sharing lab tests, reaping the efficiency and benefits of collaboration.
The goal was the sharing of specimens among the labs with instrument-ready barcode labels, available at time of collection. The patient information should never be re-accessed and the specimen should never be re-labeled. To reach these ambitious goals, more technology and lab network expertise were needed.
The hospitals implemented the CCS ‘Multi-Lab Networking’ solution. The Multi-Lab networking system helps healthcare organizations to build and manage diagnostic testing networks, automate test sharing, provide centralized catalogs, and reach a lot of other administration and cost reducing goals. The system improves lab workflow and efficiency by enabling connections to interface automation, instrumentation and information systems at multiple locations via Interoperability middleware connectivity.
We needed to maintain hospital and LIS autonomy while also all coming together to central operations. With CCS we succeeded.