There is often a lot of confusion surrounding the terms LIS and LIMS, and many times they are used interchangeably, even though they are two separate lab management software systems. Although different, LIS (Laboratory Information System) and LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) do have a few commonalities. To clear up the confusion between the two, the SMEDIX team decided to create this article to support medical professionals in choosing a lab management software system.
Before we jump into which of the two systems is the optimal choice for you, let’s see exactly what LIS and LIMS are, and examine the differences and the similarities between them.
What is LIS?
Laboratory Information System, or LIS, is a system used to manage clinical diagnostic testing within a healthcare environment, like a hospital or a large clinic, for example. These systems are primarily designed to process critical data in clinical settings. LIS systems are patient-centric, and are conceptualized to keep patient information secure. A Laboratory Information System stores and manages critical patient data, complying completely with all HIPAA requirements. Additionally, the system is designed to support regulatory entities like ISO, FDA, CAP, and the Joint Commission, among others.
LIS systems have a multitude of features, including:
- Secure health management features;
- Keeping track of key patient data: name, age, medical history, ethnicity, etc.;
- Accurate interpretation of test results and diagnosis;
- Records of treatments and patient outcomes;
- The ability to integrate a multitude of health-based informatics systems.
What is LIMS?
As opposed to LIS, LIMS systems are ideal for commercial medical settings. These could include pharmaceutical labs, food or beverage testing facilities, and more. A Laboratory Information Management System analyzes large batches of data and offers valuable insight to both healthcare professionals and stakeholders. Workflow optimization, QA testing and automated reporting are all available within a LIMS system, and can assist business owners with their plans and goals. Furthermore, this type of software is also designed to help organizations with product development, maintenance, different operations, as well as decision-making.
Here are several features of LIMS:
- Individual and batch sample tracking;
- Intuitive workflow management;
- Product quality and staff competency management;
- Instrument calibration;
- Analytical instruments and systems integrations;
- Organizing and analyzing complex data batches;
- Integration with other business systems;
- Environmental monitoring.
What’s the difference between LIS and LIMS?
We already established that the main difference is that LIS is designed for hospitals and clinics, while LIMS systems are ideal for commercial medical settings. This obviously makes LIS more affordable, as well as easier to implement. If you’ve read the previous two sections of the article, you should already be familiar with some of the specific differences. In this section, we’re going to look at a few similarities between the two.
Both LIS and LIMS share a lot of commonalities and functionalities, including:
- Centralized workflows;
- IoT integration;
- Real-time access to key data;
- Sample tracking;
- Diagnostic and analysis functionalities;
- Keeping records organized and up-to-date.
Which one is best for you?
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with LIS and LIMS, the only thing left is to decide which one would suit your medical workspace better. If you run a small clinic or a hospital, your best bet would be to go with LIS. Individual clinics and labs thrive with this type of system. On the other hand, if you run a large research or testing facility, LIMS is the optimal choice. LIMS will allow you to handle bigger batches of data and run processes at a larger scale. If you know the scale of your business, making a decision is pretty straightforward. However, make sure you choose a trustworthy vendor or partner to work with to avoid using an inappropriate system for your needs.
Looking for software solutions for your business?
If you need more information about LIS and LIMS systems, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll try to assist you in any way we can. We’re a team of professionals who are eager to meet and work with you to create a better future for healthcare together.