August 26, 2012
A Clinical Database Management System (CDMS) such as the LifeLab Database Manger is a class of software, which handles receiving, processing, storing and reporting on information generated by clinical laboratory processes. Like a Laboratory Information System (LIS), these software suites typically interface with instruments and other remote information systems, and are highly configurable in order to serve a variety of laboratory workflow models. Unlike a LIS, a CDMS system adds a robust interface to clinical aspects of a medical practice not strictly viewed as laboratory functions, for example radiological image handling, EMR and billing integration as well as the ability to monitor and quickly generate comprehensive reports required for regulatory compliance. Deciding on a CDMS vendor is a major undertaking for all labs. Lab managers who invest the time and effort in finding the perfect IT implementation should fully understand what types of return on investment they can expect from their organizations cash outlay. Assessing return on investment, after all, should be the most attractive and least challenging aspect of an IT installation.
As it stands, the advent of electronic medical records (EMR) has helped an increasingly significant number of clinicians realize the value of information systems in their practices. In fact, in certain circumstances, an already installed EMR system has made it easy to justify the addition of a CDMS in order to populate the EMR with lab results. In other cases, the operational efficiency gained through the reduction of time consuming phone calls, patient data entry from remote location, and ease of access to patient data has incited a natural interest in what can be achieved by digitizing the laboratory environment.
In the tissue-banking world, where data entry is overwhelmingly manual in nature, facilities run the risk of significant reporting errors. The inclusion of a CDMS solely for these purposes would greatly reduce the organizations’ exposure to medical error. Most laboratories do not think about risk mitigation as important criteria in assessing ROI (return on investment); but once clinicians understand the bottom-line affect of clinical errors, legibility errors, and missing lab results, the benefit of a CDMS is very clear.
More Efficient Billing
Another overlooked aspect of a CDMS installation is the immediate value gained through a reduction of missed billing. For many organizations, management of receivables is a daunting task due to the significance amount of revenue tied up in the accounts receivable. Because revenues are delayed due to billing errors and improper coding, cash flow is negatively impacted. With a CDMS, errors can be identified at the entry point, and subsequent delays can be mitigated or even removed.
A Reduction In Overhead
One of the most touted benefits of management information systems is the immediate realization of reduction in FTE (full-time equivalents) and/or the transferability of skilled labor to other value-add work. Within an electronic environment, data is able to flow between systems and eliminate substantial and oftentimes duplicate/manual entry of data. Based on the scale and scope of a facility, this could mean an immediate FTE cost reduction of multiple salaries.
Clinical Database Management systems such as LifeLab Database Manager helps reduce errors, increase productivity, and provides a turn-key solution that benefits patients, facility directors, and staff. These systems provide a highly configurable environment that aims to streamline daily tasks, mitigate against human error, and support a system of checks and balances that keeps facilities in compliance with the myriad of rules and regulations directed at tissue banks.
About the Author:
Jason M. Gilbert, CPA – Jason Gilbert is Founder and COO/CFO of LifeLab Solutions Inc. Formerly, he was an investor at General Atlantic (a $16B Private Equity firm focused on global growth investments), where he focused on financial strategy for GA’s portfolio companies and new investments. He first joined GA’s Greenwich office in 2006 evaluating investment opportunities in various technology enabled verticals, including semiconductors, alternative energy, and financial services. Prior to joining General Atlantic, Jason was an Investment Banker at Berkery, Noyes & Co., where he serviced large and mid-sized information providers in the U.S. and international markets with strategic mergers & acquisitions, corporate and asset divestitures, strategic research, and valuations. Jason is a Certified Public Accountant with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Accounting from the George Washington University School of Business. Jason contributes financial expertise, both for internal initiatives as well as consulting engagements.
About the Company:
LifeLab Solutions, Inc. is a comprehensive resource for the human tissue banking industry. We provide database solutions and consulting services for both start-ups and established facilities. With over 20 years of experience in the Clinical Laboratory and Tissue Banking fields, LifeLab Solutions software and diverse management team was developed in response to the increasing volume and complexity inherent to human gamete storage. Paramount to all types of tissue banking, tracking each specimen from receipt through processing, storage and distribution together with the monitoring requirements necessary to insure the quality of the distributed tissue was front and center in the development of our software solution the LifeLab Database Manager. LifeLab Solutions targets the core areas of inefficiencies across the storage process, ranging from increased overhead attributable to routine specimen tracking and billing, to staff turnover, training and regulatory compliance. Specifically, facilities implementing LifeLab Database Manager have noted at a 20% or greater, reduction in staff costs and a significant boost to both operational efficiency and profitability.