By Aric Harris

Diagnostic laboratories, along with their counterparts (radiology, home health, etc...), are facing significant changes that require rapid action in a short period of time. The healthcare providers who select lab partners are doing so based on the lab's ability to deliver lab analytics and tracking capabilities to automatically uncover actionable intelligence previously hidden in terabytes of lab data. Further, providers are demanding that their labs become true partners that operate as an extension of each provider's healthcare organization. In the heavily competitive lab market where each opportunity is hotly contested, labs must get beyond traditional lab management tools geared toward managing internal clinical processes and establish a comprehensive view of every client including proactive alerts that drive action in the areas that need it most. All of this needs to happen in real-time.

Lab leaders are attacking this challenge by pursuing both customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) software solutions. Every day I hear lab executives explain the challgenges they face in coordinating the myriad data silos that house fragments of the total client picture. In some cases, these executives are initially opting to separate their CRM and BI initiatives into two separate projects. The problem with this approach is that it leads to even more disconnected data silos!  

This is where the title of this post comes in: The Secret to Lab Success is BOTH Healthcare CRM and BI combined into one lab-specific solution.  

The reason for this is simple: All of the data that is stored throughout the lab relates to clients. Healthcare CRM - designed from the ground up to support the unique data model and relationships specific to the lab industry - captures these disparate data elements and AUTOMATICALLY TRANSLATES THEM INTO ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE!  

Therefore, the link between healthcare CRM and BI is a fundamental mandate that is separating the top performing labs from those who are spending extra time, money, and resources on generic CRM and BI tools that are not designed to support the unique requirements of diagnostic laboratories.  

It is also important to note that the path to enabling your Lab CRM and Lab Analytics / BI solution will be best achieved with healthcare cloud computing. While traditional healthcare management solutions are still applicable in certain cases - such as managing internal clinical processes involving instrument interfaces - a rapid transition to healthcare cloud offerings is occurring as this approach eliminates the pitfalls of traditional IT projects. Why buy hardware, install it in your network infrastructure, install software, customize software, document your customizations, train users on your custom implementation, only to find that you can no longer easily upgrade to the newest version of the software (which is expensive) because of all the customizations you have performed?  
 
With cloud-based Lab CRM and BI capabilities, you can get up and running with a 360-degree client view quickly and access the services that are valuable to your business via a secure browser on any computer or smart phone. Further, the solution will be updated frequently and you will instantly have access to all of those new, lab-specific capabilities that further your market advantage to win clients and serve them for life.
 
To learn more, watch our 2 minute video.
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