The Possibilities of Adding Automation into the Laboratory
You can’t dive into any laboratory publication today without seeing a plethora of articles focused on efficiency within the laboratory. However, the majority of them do leave out very important aspects, what is considered laboratory automation and what applications can be automated in the lab.
In this post, we’ll define laboratory automation, several real-life examples of how to use it within the laboratory, and provide you with a set of questions you should be asking yourself or your team before officially kicking off any project.
Laboratory Automation Defined
Laboratory automation can be defined as any software or hardware, i.e. laboratory information system, revenue cycle management system, and instruments that perform tasks that do not need human interaction.
The Need for Laboratory Automation
There is no question, we are currently experiencing a major shift in the complex landscape of anatomic pathology. Today, labs are being forced to scale their operations by offering new molecular services to remain competitive and ensure customer satisfaction. Clinicians and healthcare organizations are looking for ways to reduce overall complexity, this includes selecting and switching to laboratory partners who offer comprehensive testing menus.
Take into account, technologies like cloud, AI, and digital pathology, are sweeping through laboratories that have never used such sophisticated technology putting an additional strain on laboratory operations. Plus, the fact of shrinking reimbursement rates and labor shortages complied with ensuring security, quality assurance, and compliance factors are putting more pressure on labs than ever before.
In order to sustain in today’s complex landscape, automation is a must.
What's Possible with Laboratory Automation
There are a lot of ways automation can be used throughout the lab, below are real-life applications we apply leveraging NovoPath 360 Laboratory Information System.
- Patient Verification: At the same time, you receive an order, and understand your patient’s insurance, demographic, & financial data with their propensity to pay in seconds providing you with enhanced insights to reduce rework or forfeit revenue. In addition, auto-populate correlating fields.
- Assign and Remove CPT Codes: Automatically assign CPT codes to a case based on the tests that are ordered. Once tests are completed, NovoPath 360 automatically checks in the correlating tests that were performed, if not, NovoPath 360 will automatically remove the CPT codes that are no longer valid.
- Case Templates: Automatically have the case you’re working on pre-populate the correct set of fields to correlate with the procedure you’re working on.
- Case Distribution: Automatically assign cases to pathologists based on location, client preference, insurance acceptance, and more.
- Auto-Print Labels: NovoPath 360 enables labs to automatically print labels when a case meets certain criteria.
- Combine Ancillary Tests: NovoPath 360 automatically combines all your tests into a single report without the need to create addendums.
- Auto-Print Slides: Just like it sounds automatically print slides without having to click to order.
- Seamless Interoperability: NovoPath 360 seamlessly integrates into any system or instrument. This provides a path for business rules to span into client and partner systems to automate orders, delivery of reports, communication channels, and more.
- Real-Time Automated Flags: Ensure pathologists are aware of all tests that are ready for review.
- Scoring Sheets: Automatically generates the final readings for you. Including positives, negatives, and percentages.
Applying Automation in the Lab
Anytime you consider enabling automation into your lab, there are set of basic questions you should ask your team before kicking off your project:
- What is your overall goal?
- How are you going to measure that goal?
- What are your most time-consuming tasks?
- Do those tasks contain any repetitive and routine tasks?
- Is there any process that needs to be error proofed?
- What kind of technologies are you looking to incorporate?
- Do you have the team to maintain the new technology?
- Will you need new equipment?
NovoPath 360 Empowers Laboratory Automation
NovoPath 360 empowers laboratories through automation – so you can diagnose faster. Our flexible features expedite your growth and bring the power of automation to your lab. NovoPath 360 is a 100% web-based platform that allows your lab to scale to sophistication.