The LabLynx LIMS, from LabLynx, Inc. is the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) developed from the core ELab product that is designed specifically for flexibility, so that there are editions for every kind of laboratory. Like all versions of ELab, it is web browser-based so that users access it according to assigned access profiles over the Internet or an Intranet (LAN/WAN). It is designed to be a robust, easy-to-use system for managing samples/specimens, cases, projects, lots, products and their analysis, QC and results reporting, along with many other useful features and functions.
HealthCloudPOL is available at a modest subscription, with no additional setup fees or other charges. Here are the features included:
|Access to Courses|
|Full Online Documentation - Manual, Tutorials|
|Help Desk Included|
Support Resources). The HealthCloud Physician Office LIS itself includes a main user menu for daily operations, plus an Administrative menu, which is accessible only to users designated by the lab for setup and configuration management. These menu items reflect the workflow of the POL and the features and functions contained in HealthCloudPOL.
HealthCloudPOL contains everything the typical laboratory for a clinical practice needs in an LIS, and probably significantly more. Like ELab generally, it is configurable so you can add new tests, define normal ranges, upload your logo and contact details to customize the patient results report, and more. For additional options, just contact your LabLynx, Inc. representative or enter a Help Desk ticket.
HealthCloudPOL is fully scalable, and in fact includes Inventory Management, Instrument Calibration and Maintenance Management and many other features and functions. For a list of available Plugins, see the Optional Plugins section of the HealthCloudPOL Manual, available at HealthCloudPOL.com.
For pricing details, see the Pricing section of the HealthCloudPOL Datasheet/User Requirements Specification (URS) LIMSpec in the HealthCloudPOL Manual.
Core Features and Functions
The daily usage of HealthCloudPOL to submit and process orders and produce results reports is at the core of its design. So, these functions constitute the topmost menu items (see picture).
They are arranged in order, from Order submission, registration/accessioning, where assays are assigned and unique IDs generated linking specimens with the requestor and patient, through batching for individual instruments or processes, results entry (this can be automatic if Interfaced) and report viewing, approval and issue.
Bonus Features and Functions
In addition to its core function of specimen analysis tracking and reporting, HCPOL includes other related operational and administrative/management capabilities, including:
- Lab Inventory - Inventory items including stocks, standards, reagents and even specimens are managed here with regard to storage, amount on hand, components or 'recipes', supplier/manufacturer, expiration date and other important details.
- Instrument Management - This includes all information about the instrument (manufacturer, model, serial number, date purchased, etc.), the test(s) it performs, etc., plus its maintenance schedule and history and any interfaces, with any associated paperwork or other files uploaded to its page.
- Document Record Management - Upload and access any types of files (e.g. MSDS, SOPs/Methods, maintenance records, receipts, scanned paper patient records etc.)
- Administration - Standard administrative or management functions include User Management, Test and Analyte (Parameter) Setup, Picklist Management, QC report and Help Desk. These admin functions are documented in Chapter 4 - Administrator's Guide.
- Audit Trail - In support of CLIA, CAP, COLA, HCFA, JCAHO, CLSI and other regulatory standards or organization processes, HCPOL includes audit trail functionality.
HealthCloudPOL comes with standard reports already included, with the ability to add more (see Optional Add-Ons). The reports included by default include:
- Patient/Order Report with Range
- Quality Control Levey-Jennings Report
- Worklist/Pending List
- Accession Specimen Label
For examples of these and other available optional reports, see the Report Examples section of Appendix A - Reference materials.
For HealthCloudPOL subscribers, there are a number of additional optional features and functions available to increase the already impressive list of HealthCloudPOL capabilities, with more being added all the time. To learn what's available, see the following section in this chapter, Optional Add-Ons.
WebLIMS is a secure cloud-hosted application. It is accessed over the Internet and can be used by many individuals simultaneously, either within a site or from anywhere in the world. Access is controlled according to privileges associated with a login ID and password, with encryption ensuring data are protected to ensure compliance with HIPAA, CLIA, ASCLD, FDA and other standards relating to data security.
The LIMS/LIS follows the web browser model in that the application processing occurs primarily on the application and database server(s), and the user’s computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device (client) really just provides a window through which the user can view or edit information and operate the system using a standard browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 and later is completely supported, along with Chrome, Safari and Firefox (depending on version, settings etc.).
Since the work is really done on the server, minimal bandwidth is required. This provides significant advantages over both traditional client-server applications and distributed applications. Even a cell phone "hot spot" card is sufficient to work from. Also, most laboratory personnel today have a good deal of exposure to the Internet and the use of a web browser application, so it is familiar and user-friendly.
Its user-friendliness and flexibility are by design. This is expressed in the Laboratory Informatics Institute's LIMSpec LIMS and LIS user requirements Specification POL P0011 Easy registration/accession, and in some of the other standards to which it relates.
Since webLIMS.com is a cloud-hosted app, it doesn't matter to the user about what database it uses (SQL Server) or the server environment. LabLynx, Inc. guarantees 99.9% uptime to its cloud-hosted customers, and boasts the finest cloud infrastructure in the laboratory informatics industry, fully SSAE SOC Type 2 and TIA-942 compliant (see SaaS and Cloud Hosting). LabLynx has employed the finest design and technology, as a long-time leader in web-based informatics, so that you can simply use your LIMS/LIS without having to worry about technical implementation and server/database infrastructure and maintenance. That leaves you free to focus on what you do best.
General Approach & Assumptions
In HCPOL, the Done button replaces the Back button in your browser. The system generates a popup warning that unsaved data will be lost when navigating away from an edit page. In general, the process is to save whatever you are doing, then click Done .
Pages are accessed by clicking on the appropriate menu item:
Troubleshooting Tips and Common Errors
There are a number of common problems users encounter simply because of browser settings, procedural errors or they simply forgot a step in a process. To make life easier, here’s a guide to those so you can save having to submit a Help Desk ticket and losing valuable time and money!
A few problems users encounter are a case of using the wrong web browser, not having the settings set correctly or local antivirus apps blocking functions. These can include:
- Login page is unresponsive
- Error messages or no response when clicking “New”
- LIS says you are already logged in when you aren't
- Popup Blockers are OFF
- The URL is designated a ‘Trusted Site’
- Browser is either Internet Explorer 9-11 or in Compatibility Mode, Firefox or Safari. Chrome can give varying results at the time of writing.
Note: Often a refresh or ‘New Session’, or Log out/log back in will fix the problem.
Standard Operating Procedures
For all operations, open a browser (see Troubleshooting Tips and Common Errors) and navigate to the LIS at the SSL-encrypted URL allocated (usually in the format http://xyz.lablynx.com/POL). Log in with the login and password provided by the LIS Administrator.
On any List screen, and wherever there is a lookup list within a screen, the HealthCloudPOL Filter offers a quick and easy means to narrow down the choices and display a specific set of records (or a single record). The fields by which the user can search are contextual. That is, they vary according to the records for which it is used.
Example Filter: Order List Page
It is important to remember that the Filter tool is "sticky" - that is, it remembers any criteria you put in place throughout your logged-on session. It is a common occurrence for users to return to a screen that was previously filtered and wonder why they aren't seeing all of the records they expect to see. To re-set the filter to show all records (up to the default number of records shown at the bottom of the list frame - this also may be changed on the filter itself), simply click the Reset Filter button.
Additionally, users can adjust the order in which filtered results are displayed, and/or the number of records.
NOTE: It is generally a good idea to bring back the minimum number of records necessary, particularly where there are a great many, so as to not use up unnecessary resources. The filter is set to limit records to a reasonable number by default.
The number of records returned may be either a number or percentage of all
Browser Spell Checker
Included on most screens in the system is a Spell Check button. The first time you click it, it will open a window to download ieSpell, providing Spell Check capabilities for HealthCloudPOL if you are using Internet Explorer as your browser.
Internet Explorer Spell Check Download Site
The User's Guide, showing step-by-step instructions on how to perform all of the standard functions in HealthCloudPOL is included in Chapter 3, and includes a section on each of the menu items:
- LIS Operation
- Order Management
- Specimen Batching
- Data Entry
- Pending List
- Report Review/Approval
- Patient Management
- Instrument Management
- Lab Inventory
- Reports and Labels
- Order Report Archive
- Document Record Management
- User Guide and Support
The Administrator's Guide, with detailed instructions on managerial/administrative LIS functions, is included in Chapter 4. It includes:
- User Management
- Test Parameter Management
- Test Management
- Test Panel Management
- Picklist Management
- Control Charts (Levey-Jennings)
- Specimen Types
- Parameter Groups
- Audit Trail
Answers to common questions can be viewed in Appendix A - Reference materials, in the FAQ and Knowledge Base section, along with access to more information, contained in the LabLynx Wiki. The LabLynx Wiki is a wikipedia site specifically dedicated to all things LabLynx. It includes the LabLynx Knowledge Base and HealthCloudPOL manual's individual topic pages, along with much more information about all of the various LabLynx Products and Services, and other LabLynx-related articles and topics.