LII:Laboratory Informatics Buyer's Guide for Medical Diagnostics and Research/Closing remarks

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7. Closing remarks

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Selecting and implementing a solution such as a laboratory information system (LIS) or laboratory information management system (LIMS) for your medical diagnostic or research laboratory can be an intimidating task, whether its the laboratory's first solution or a follow-up solution. Additional concerns about the functionality and ease-of-use of such systems also persist. According to a 2016 survey by technology specialist Astrix, the most common complaints were that "LIMS were perceived to be difficult to use and lacked integration with other systems," with respondents indicating the primary reason for purchasing a new solution being their overall dissatisfaction with an existing system.[1]

A case can be made that some vendors aren't clear or honest about the functionality of their system, contributing to this end-user unhappiness. However, a more common reality is that poor requirements management is also at least partially responsible for project failure.[2] This guide has attempted to not only provide practical advice towards system selection and implementation, but it has also emphasized the real value your organization can gain from taking a methodical approach to choosing the best system for your needs via proper requirements management. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, "for every dollar spent on projects and programs, 5.1 percent is wasted due to poor requirements management."[2] It's tough to deny that system acquisition and implementation is definitively a project, so why waste dollars by not being prepared?

This guide has looked at the various laboratories in the medical diagnostic and research fields, their technology requirements, the functionality required in the systems they implement, and how best to go about acquiring those systems, particularly ones that are flexible in their configurability. The guide also notes the value of considering cybersecurity during decision making, a concern that will only continue to grow for the laboratory industry. You've also been given many tools to apply to your selection and implementation processes, including vendor lists and information sources. The LIMSpec, a pre-developed user requirements specification document is also discussed, including how it can be best applied to ensure your laboratory's success. Don't forget that in Appendix 1 you'll also find a blank version of LIMSpec for clinical diagnostic and research labs, including a downloadable Microsoft Word version.

In the end, your medical lab wants to succeed in its mission of providing the best analytical and research services towards improving overall human and animal health. It's increasingly clear that one or more laboratory informatics solutions can help with achieving that goal. Be reminded that such software is still just a tool, granted, one with which your lab can better manage testing, more closely follow regulations and standards, improve operational efficiency, and guarantee better patient outcomes. However, like any tool, picking the most suitable one for the job, and implementing it effectively and securely, is vital. We hope this guide will help you in picking the solution that best helps your organization meet its short- and long-term goals.


  1. "2016 LIMS Market Research Survey Report" (PDF). Astrix Technology Group, Inc. 2017. Retrieved 04 December 2021. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bieg, D.P. (August 2014). "Introduction" (PDF). Requirements Management: A Core Competency for Project and Program Success. Project Management Institute. p. 3. Retrieved 04 December 2021. 

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Citation information for this chapter

Chapter: 7. Closing remarks

Title: Laboratory Informatics Buyer's Guide for Medical Diagnostics and Research

Edition: 2022 Edition

Author for citation: Shawn E. Douglas

License for content: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Publication date: January 2022