Laboratory information system requirements to manage the COVID-19 pandemic: A report from the Belgian national reference testing center

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has been in force for months, seemingly little has been published (even ahead of print) in academic journals of the technological challenges of managing the growing mountain of research and clinical diagnostic data. Weemaes et al. are one of the exceptions, with this pre-print June publication in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The authors, from Belgium’s University Hospitals Leuven, present their approach to rapidly expanding their laboratory’s laboratory information system (LIS) to address the sudden workflow bottlenecks associated with COVID-19 testing. They describe how using a change management framework to rapidly drive them forward, the authors were able “to streamline sample ordering through a CPOE system, and streamline reporting by developing a database with contact details of all laboratories in Belgium,” while improving epidemiological reporting and exploratory data mining of the data for scientific research. They also address the element of “meaningful use” of their LIS, which often gets overlooked.

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