Developing the Laboratory Information System

  • Daniel R. Cowan
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


It was pointed out in Chapter 1 that the term “laboratory information system” means more than an aggregation of hardware and software. The system is a plan expressed in policies and procedures and implemented in part on a computer. Indeed, computers are not necessary parts of information systems, which have existed under one title or another as long as human activities have been organized. Notebooks, card files, ledgers, and indexing systems all are information systems. The hardware and basic programs and software tools used to support a laboratory information system, although provided by a vendor, must reflect the needs and objectives of the laboratory, as defined by the laboratory and developed as an information plan. The information plan must be coherent, meet the medical service and management objectives of the laboratory and the larger institution, if that is the context in which the laboratory operates, and must make efficient and effective use of the resources of the purchased system. Full, inclusive participation of the laboratory staff in the development of standards and objectives for the system is a sine qua non for success, as is coherent central management of the system. The information system implements a shared goal of improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of services and must be accepted and used by the entire staff of the laboratory. This means that the information system is coherent and uniformly applicable, although not every aspect of laboratory services must be computerized.


Anatomic Pathology Structure Query Language Data Dictionary Laboratory Information System Application Service Provider 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2005

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  • Daniel R. Cowan

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