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Rapid Response to a Crisis: LIMSABC Delivers

imgThe days of paper-based and manual laboratory data management are over. It has become glaringly obvious with the recent COVID-19 pandemic that every laboratory, no matter how small, needs to be able to respond quickly when a public health crisis requires a change in collections, testing and reporting. It is essential that every laboratory be working with a Laboratory Information System (LIS) that can help them do that and not be another roadblock to efficiency.

LIMSABC is proud to report that several of our clients have been contributing to the testing effort from the very early days of the crisis in the US. While many labs are still struggling to adjust their systems to accommodate the coronavirus testing requirements, our clients were able to configure and validate their systems for COVID-19 testing in a matter of hours, not days or weeks. There were no special updates needed, no downloads to wait for and no fees that needed to be approved and contracted before they were able to jump in to assist with the nationwide testing and reporting.

Solaris Diagnostics, a CLIA-accredited laboratory in Nicholasville, KY was one of the first in the nation to provide COVID-19 testing to their clients. Dr. Preetpal Sidhu, CEO of Solaris, and John Drury, Director of Operations, lead the project to prepare their lab for the critical testing including modifications to the LIS to accommodate the new testing.

img“We went from an average of 250 samples per day to over 1200 per day in a matter of just a few days. After a couple weeks we have been able to scale up to 4000 specimens a day and the system was able to keep up.” said Drury. Understandably, there were challenges in adjusting workflows and resources to accommodate the surge in accessioning, but Solaris quickly worked through those and the LIMSABC system easily adjusted to changes in processes that were needed. “Implementing the changes in the system for COVID-19, including configuring, testing and reporting changes, only took a few days.” according to Drury. “The support of LIMSABC and the scalability and flexibility of the system was instrumental in our success.”

Dr. Sidhu appreciates that his LIMSABC system was able to adapt quickly to the testing and reporting rules that were needed for the COVID-19 testing. He also feels that the ability for the submitter portal to be quickly redesigned to highlight positive COVID-19 results “was a big help to our clients who could quickly review their list of submissions and focus on the COVID positive results without having to review each and every report.”

The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated the need for systems that can adjust and adapt to any change to lab operations, whether driven by an emerging healthcare situation or by constantly changing business requirements. It proves that a robust, modern LIS is an essential part of a lab’s workflow and, as such, is no longer a luxury for some but essential for all.

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