The benefits of synchronizing middleware with total laboratory automation
Since the early institution of Johns Hopkins ward laboratories just before the 20th century,1 the clinical laboratory has served as a data repository, gathering evidence to support patient care decisions. Over the last several decades, with the emergence of computerized information technology (IT), the amount of data collected and managed by laboratories began to grow exponentially. This left laboratories hungry for solutions that could help them keep pace with the influx of information.
At the same time laboratories were adopting IT solutions, they also were implementing automated systems for all or part of their workflows. In 1982, the first laboratory information management system (LIMS) was introduced, offering the first automated reporting system.2 This gave over-burdened laboratories more productive tools for storing and tracking data and alleviated the manual tasks of tracking and reporting information using handwritten notes in notebooks and charts.
In the same way the Industrial Age yielded to the Information Age brought about by the development of computers in the 1970s, recent years have ushered in the Experience Age. Whereas the emphasis previously was on big data, now the focus is on usable data. Laboratories trying to keep up with the demands of value-based care, are searching for solutions that will help them maintain accuracy, efficiency and productivity to support both patient care and organizational goals. This is where middleware comes in.
Laboratory information systems have evolved with the times, from the Industrial Age, to the Information Age, to the Experience Age.
What is middleware?
Middleware is a software system layered between the operating system and application programs,3 connecting systems to bridge gaps and make data more usable and actionable. Globally, the clinical middleware market is the fastest growing segment, overshadowing financial, operational and administrative applications. Estimates show that, by 2023, the healthcare middleware market will reach $3.07 billion.4
In the clinical laboratory, middleware links instruments to the LIS. While it was initially used as a simple interface mechanism, today’s middleware systems serve as a process control and management solution.5 It promotes standardization and enhances accuracy, consistency and efficiency by automating manual decisions and data-handling tasks. Deemed “a necessity for any viable laboratory,” middleware gives laboratories the ability to write customized rules, monitor QC, and ensure accuracy and timeliness in results reporting.6
Synchronizing middleware with total laboratory automation
We combine both middleware and automated solutions by uniquely synchronizing our REMISOL Advance middleware system with our DxA 5000 total laboratory automation solution. REMISOL Advance offers a centralized connection of instruments to the LIS, and serves as a single interface for adding instruments to workflows and tests to instruments. It allows for the continuous exchange of information between the middleware system and instrumentation and serves as a hub for results review and data management. This drives quality in results reporting, as well as operational efficiency and process standardization across all shifts and sites, and helps minimize operational costs.
With the integration of REMISOL Advance and the DxA 5000, laboratories gain total workflow control, intelligent sample routing, waste prevention and access to future developments in REMISOL middleware technology.
Combining REMISOL Advance with the DxA 5000 total laboratory automation solution is helping laboratories experience a more seamless and productive workflow.