5 Reasons for Labs to Go Digital

27 August 2021

2 min read

Most of patients have gotten used to stacking and filing their lab results at home to keep track of their health, be it an X-Ray from that biking accident three (3) years ago, or the ever growing jungle of lab results for their routine check for cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood sugar in the file cabinet. This is especially stressful for people with pre-existing diseases and comorbidities, who have to get regularly checked and tested by their doctors.

And while some laboratories have shifted to digital to accelerate data collection processes and streamline their operations, many still rely on paper forms both for data collection and releasing results.

In the Philippines, there are 639 government-accredited laboratories operating in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone. But only a few hospitals and diagnostic laboratories have deployed mobile apps to facilitate paperless, contactless registration, with services limited within NCR.

We know that this is perilous, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world that our antiquated ways have to change. Here are the top five (5) reasons why you should make the switch to digital:

Expensive and Time-Consuming

Paper forms require resources, time, and manpower to create.  A single paper form can cost organizations between $15 and $75 in labor alone. The compounding cost is substantial, considering laboratories print out hundreds of copies.

Paper forms also hamper a patient’s experience. It takes 15 to 30 minutes to manually accomplish all the necessary paperwork. This is further slowed down by the re-verification, as mandated by data security policies.

Pre-analytical and Diagnostic Errors

Errors that occur before the testing process (pre-analytical errors) account for 50-70 percent of all laboratory errors. The manual accomplishment of laboratory forms and results is among the major causes of pre-analytical errors.

It creates a domino effect, that can lead to laboratory errors , diagnostic errors, inappropriate test requests, and even misdiagnosis, all of which can be harmful to a laboratory’s reputation.

Limited and Costly Physical Storage

Laboratories are mandated by law to properly store and secure laboratory forms, test results, and other documents. This adds to the expenses of  laboratories in terms of space, procurement of countless file cabinets, and even an expert custodian to manage and retrieve hundreds, if not thousands of old and new files.

Prone to Loss and Damage

Losing patient data due to damage, misplacement, or theft, can be detrimental to a patient’s health, as it may hinder ongoing treatment or worse research on a newly discovered disease or condition.

A recent example of this is  a doctor who is now facing a lawsuit due to a misplaced lab test result that led to an unnecessary surgery. This highlights the crucial role of patient information availability and security and the serious consequences on both the laboratory, medical professionals, and their patients.

Poor Communication and Collaboration

Paper forms in a laboratory setting is a breeding ground for data silos since it involves manually transferring the information to various softwares for processing and documentation.

Data silos create barriers between departments and ultimately end with duplication, confusion and even finger pointing among the staff, which can spill over to patients and affect their experience with the lab.  

This also makes communication between laboratories and their partners to access critical and reliable data to derive actionable insights for collaboration.

Ready to jump into the future? We at Dashlabs.ai would be honored to be a part of your digital journey.

Our DIY lab software solutions can help small and mid-sized laboratories like yours transition from paper-based to electronic forms and enjoy its many benefits.

Let’s give your patients the VIP treatment that they deserve through our convenient mobile digital forms. This will encourage patients to fully accomplish the form. No more skipped questions or no missing data!

Book a demo with us to start your digital transformation with Dashlabs.ai

Written by Misfits for Dashlabs.ai. Copyedited by Marianne Dee. Illustrations by Misfits.

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