Lab managers need sophisticated tools and solutions to cope with the challenges of massive batch testing and digitization of healthcare processes. With the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care, there’s a need to improve operational efficiency and minimize cost. Thankfully, a lab API interface can significantly boost operational efficiency in well-managed laboratories.
An application programming interface (API) is a set of procedures and functions that allow other applications to access the data and functionality of another application, operating system, or web service. A lab API interface allows one application to talk to another one, and it is a key to seamless data interoperability. If you want to reduce errors caused by excessive manual processing of data and boost efficiency, the following benefits should motivate you to deploy APIs in your lab management system.
1. Create Seamless Connections With Lab Equipment
Most modern lab equipment has data interfaces for sending and receiving data. Some come with a single computer interface that allows technicians to interact directly with them. But this may provide only limited access to the equipment’s database.
Using an API will allow you to connect to various lab equipment from a single computer or server and upload data about tests completed, results, utilization, and other statistics. Using an API becomes more pronounced as the number of tests increases in a large laboratory that serves multiple providers and also has to cope with pressure from Covid-19 testing.
2. Import and Export Data for Analysis
Data analytics provides actionable insights for lab management. But the data for these analytics is usually hidden in different parts of the laboratory. From scheduling to inventory to testing and results management, data silos are spread across the entire laboratory.
With an API, it is possible to extract data from different sources and produce comprehensive trend analyses. Data extracted via the API may be displayed in dashboards for managers to quickly discover new trends and spot areas that need immediate remedial action.
3. Automate Laboratory Processes and Schedules
Automating and streamlining lab processes enhances the efficiency of lab operations. Technicians also work under less pressure, achieving higher levels of productivity.
Lab managers can use APIs to automate workflows. They usually use them to program a series of actions and events that
need to happen in the lab.
An automated process may be utilized in the following ways:
- To create a report by collating data obtained from the project’s experiments
- To get protein properties from open databases like UniProt, HGCN, and NCBI for freshly added samples.
- To create serial IDs for newly acquired inventory items.
Apart from process automation, managers may use APIs to schedule testing and report and manage staffing. Statistical analysis calculations can be automated, and results sent to the manager for review and transfer to regulatory authorities.
4. Minimize Human Errors
Routine lab testing and analysis involves various types of data processing. They are prone to errors that can affect physician diagnosis and patient safety when done manually.
But with an API, these calculations are done by applications that can eliminate human errors caused by stress and fatigue.
Eliminating human errors will also save time and reduce the cost of retesting, recalculating, and resending test results.
5. Integrate LIMS With Multiple Information Systems
Traditionally, the integration of LIMS with EHR systems has been done with HL7 interfaces. While they may be adequate for simple test ordering and transmitting results, they may not be sufficient for multiple client ordering and eligibility checking.
Using APIs for interconnectivity with other information systems allows lab managers to link up with billing and insurance, EHRs, practice management, and state reporting systems. Effective interoperability will lead to high productivity and rapid transmission of healthcare information within and outside the lab.
Connect With a Lab API Interface Expert
Do you want to start reaping the benefits of using APIs in lab management systems? Contact Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 today to book a free consultation session. Visit our contact page to discuss your needs and schedule a live demo of our lab interoperability solutions.