Implementation

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Selecting and implementing a solution such as a laboratory information system (LIS) or laboratory information management system (LIMS) for your medical diagnostic or research laboratory can be an intimidating task, whether its the laboratory's first solution or a follow-up solution. Additional concerns about the functionality and ease-of-use of such systems also persist. According to a 2016 survey by technology specialist Astrix, the most common complaints were that "LIMS were perceived to be difficult to use and lacked integration with other systems," with respondents indicating the primary reason for purchasing a new solution being their overall dissatisfaction with an existing system.[1]

A case can be made that some vendors aren't clear or honest about the functionality of their system, contributing to this end-user unhappiness. However, a more common reality is that poor requirements management is also at least partially responsible for project failure.[2] This guide has attempted to not only provide practical advice towards system selection and implementation, but it has also emphasized the real value your organization can gain from taking a methodical approach to choosing the best system for your needs via proper requirements management. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, "for every dollar spent on projects and programs, 5.1 percent is wasted due to poor requirements management."[2] It's tough to deny that system acquisition and implementation is definitively a project, so why waste dollars by not being prepared?

This guide has looked at the various laboratories in the medical diagnostic and research fields, their technology requirements, the functionality required in the systems they implement, and how best to go about acquiring those systems. This includes considering cybersecurity during decision making, a concern that will only continue to grow for the laboratory industry. You've also been given many tools to apply to your selection and implementation processes, including vendor lists and information sources. The LIMSpec, a pre-developed user requirements specification document is also discussed, including how it can be best applied to ensure your laboratory's success. Don't forget that in the appendix you'll also find both a blank version of LIMSpec, as well as a completed version to show how a vendor might respond to your queries.

In the end, your medical lab wants to succeed in its mission of providing the best analytical and research services towards improving overall human and animal health. It's increasingly clear that a laboratory informatics solution can help with achieving that goal. However, such software is a tool, with which your lab can better manage testing, more closely follow regulations and standards, improve operational efficiency, and guarantee better patient outcomes. Like any tool, picking the most suitable one for the job is vital. We hope this guide will help you in picking the solution that best helps your organization meet its short- and long-term goals.

References

  1. "2016 LIMS Market Research Survey Report" (PDF). Astrix Technology Group, Inc. 2017. http://vertassets.blob.core.windows.net/download/a43a4bdc/a43a4bdc-bfed-4d4b-b8b9-b0ba6d42f786/lims_market_research_survey_summary.pdf. Retrieved 01 February 2020. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bieg, D.P. (August 2014). "Introduction" (PDF). Requirements Management: A Core Competency for Project and Program Success. Project Management Institute. p. 3. https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/thought-leadership/pulse/requirements-management.pdf. Retrieved 01 February 2020. 

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