LABORATORY INFORMATION SYSTEMS

A laboratory information system (LIS) is a computer information system that manages laboratory information for all the laboratory disciplines such as clinical chemistry, haematology and microbiology.

Laboratory Information Systems provide modules for sending laboratory tests order to the instruments through its multiple instrument interfaces, some are known as to have as many as five hundred, track those orders and then capturing the results as soon as they become available. The result can then be analysed and a report the generated from it.

This report can be sent off for printing at a specific point, sent off to other systems either to be added to patient’s electronic medical record or for billing.


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Laboratory Information Systems communicate with other information systems using clinical information standard such as HL7. Laboratory systems might also make use of LONIC (Laboratory Observation Identities, Names and Codes) to exchange laboratory results with other systems.

Other features that include:

  • Patient management: Patient details like the admission date, admitting physician, and admission number can be maintained by a Laboratory Information System. Other information concerning the patient’s specimen including the ordering physician, department ordering the test, specimen type, date/time of collection and receipt, and the initials of the collecting technician, can also be managed in a Laboratory Information System.

  • Decision Support: Lab orders can be cross-referenced against classification codes such as ICD-9 and LONIC, and also verified that that the correct test is being carried out.

  • Patient Tracking: A patient tests can be catalogued and called up when the need to review them comes up.

  • Quality Assurance: Ensures that the tests carried out using the currently available standards.

  • Management Reporting

  • Workload Recording


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International Medical Informatics Association
American Medical Informatics Association
UK Health Informatics Society
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society


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Last Updated: 10 August 2006.



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