The COVID-19 pandemic has made lab management more challenging. Now, you have to grapple with the pressure of high volume testing and various financial constraints while sustaining your competitive edge as a lab service.
Thankfully, using lab analytics software can reduce the administrative burden, achieve higher operational efficiency, and improve patient outcomes. Read on to discover more specific benefits of using analytics software in your laboratory.
1. Automation of Process Improvement
Lab managers need to focus on improving the performance of lab processes constantly. This is vital for sustaining the efficiency and effectiveness of the lab.
Analytics software can automate process improvement by extracting, analyzing, and interpreting data in the LIS. You can use analytics software to answer questions such as:
- Are we meeting our deadlines and turnaround times?
- Are we providing accurate quality assurance?
- How do we meet staffing demands created by the pandemic?
- Which tests have been ordered wrongly?
Analytics can automate and speed up the process of improving daily lab management through detailed reports and dashboards.
2. Efficient Staffing Through Workload Prediction
Labs in the U.S. have to cope with a considerable workload. The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science states that labs carry out more than 4 billion tests annually.
The increased demand for coronavirus tests is also forcing labs to achieve more with fewer resources. Unfortunately, lab workers are getting stressed out and overworked.
Analytics can boost worker productivity by giving insight into staffing needs based on changing demands. That means you can track staffing needs by department, workstation, time of day, test, and other essential criteria.
The software will not only show where adjustments in staffing are necessary but also help to predict workload. It will relieve you of the hours spent forecasting workload.
3. Improvement of Test Utilization and Financial Performance
Sadly, lab reimbursements have been on the decline in the past few years. Fee-for-service has given way to value-based testing.
Consequently, hospitals and labs can’t increase revenues by ordering additional tests for inpatients. The focus has shifted to the quality and utilization of tests rather than volume.
Fortunately, analytics software can provide detailed reports on test utilization, highlighting any unnecessary tests. Eliminating unnecessary tests help to improve the use of staff time, reagents, and other essential supplies.
4. Improve Workflow and Operations
The dashboard of your lab analytics can reveal so many details about your lab’s work processes. Examples of data you can track with your analytics software for operational efficiency improvement include:
- Turnaround time: Fast-tracking of completion time and ability to find the tests that were delayed.
- Workload detail: Detailed description of workload sorted by priority, location, and type.
- Productivity analysis: Details on each lab technologist’s productivity.
5. Enhance Lab Quality and Efficiency
In addition to improving operation metrics, lab analytics can also enhance the quality of lab tests. While you may desire to use the data in your LIS to improve quality, the LIS seldom provides the type of reports required for that purpose.
You need an analytics app that can analyze text notes as well as structured data. Your software can monitor the whole lab testing cycle and locate variables to cause errors in the pre-analytic, analytic, and post-analytic phases of lab operations.