Written by Kenneth Fuller, Clinical Engineer
Laboratory Assured Compliance Solution: The perfect compliment to any system
Is there any clinical laboratory software that really does it all, when it comes to compliance?
My curiosity with this question really first started a couple years ago while I worked on a team as an Epic Application Analyst. For 18 months I built a laboratory system for Denver Health Medical Center. Half of that time was spent working with the software to construct a laboratory compliance system.
One of my projects was to configure all the electronic quality control and quality assurance tasks for all laboratories within the organization. This included instrument quality control, environmental checks like temperatures, incubators, water quality, fire extinguishers, eyewashes, showers, reagent quality checks like for Microbiology media, etc…
Epic has a very extensive, versatile rule-based logic for that configuration but it was an overwhelming, time-consuming project to build all of the tasks, write individual rules and attach them to each task. Each task had to be thoroughly tested to ensure proper function. Reports for all of this had to be built, organized and more rules written for scheduling.
Many organizations are not able to allocate resources for this large of a project. Also, in order to be able attempt this build, the organization must have Epic as both the Hospital Information System and also Epic Beaker as the Laboratory Information System. Because of this, Epic really isn't an option for many laboratories looking for a compliance solution.
I wanted to find a compliance solution that didn’t require a large LIS purchase, but something that could stand alone, be easily implemented, and didn’t require an abundance of resources to get the project going.
I spent a few weeks talking to other peers in the laboratory space and researching several companies online that offer software to assist with compliance. These companies offer modules ranging from document control, continuing education, competency, personnel documentation, workflow, inventory control, to inspection and audit management.
After looking at the compliance solutions out there, it seems that none of them do everything you may need to ensure that your laboratory has every base covered. Which is when I started focusing more not on what has it all, but what could be added to an existing system to bring the solution full circle.
Laboratory Assured Compliance Solution (LACS) is a tool for the accreditation checklists in your laboratory. LACS tracks all the paper forms in a laboratory from one central portal allowing for multi-site compliance management and laboratory standardization. That really caught my attention because this seemed to be the piece that all the other solutions were missing.
There has been a big push for healthcare facilities to become paperless for years now, however, many labs are still bogged-down by complex, paper-based, compliance requirements.
LACS is a simple, fast to implement, solution that can work with systems already in place. It was also built by laboratory professionals, making it different from some of the other solutions I had looked into.
I think pairing software used for document management, inventory control, training, with LACS would really change the way instrument compliance management is performed. If I would have known about LACS before spending months to build a version of it in Epic's beaker, I would have recommended utilizing it instead. Kapios has really perfected this workflow in laboratories.
In conclusion, there are a lot of different compliance software companies out there competing in the clinical laboratory space. The biggest piece missing is always the quality control and equipment maintenance. Even with my work in Epic, it was a huge build, and not an easy task. LACS will complement your technology and enhance any labs current processes, with a fast, efficient, implementation process.