The Intelligent Clinical Laboratory as a Tool to Increase Cancer Care Management Productivity


Studies of the causes of cancer, early detection, prevention or treatment need accurate, comprehensive,and timely cancer data. The clinical laboratory provides important cancer information needed for physicianswhich influence clinical decisions regarding treatment, diagnosis and patient monitoring. Poor communicationbetween health care providers and clinical laboratory personnel can lead to medical errors and wrong decisionsin providing cancer care. Because of the key impact of laboratory information on cancer diagnosis and treatmentthe quality of the tests, lab reports, and appropriate lab management are very important. A laboratoryinformation management system (LIMS) can have an important role in diagnosis, fast and effective access tocancer data, decrease redundancy and costs, and facilitate the integration and collection of data from differenttypes of instruments and systems. In spite of significant advantages LIMS is limited by factors such as problemsin adaption to new instruments that may change existing work processes. Applications of intelligent softwaresimultaneously with existing information systems, in addition to remove these restrictions, have important benefitsincluding adding additional non-laboratory-generated information to the reports, facilitating decision making,and improving quality and productivity of cancer care services. Laboratory systems must have flexibility tochange and have the capability to develop and benefit from intelligent devices. Intelligent laboratory informationmanagement systems need to benefit from informatics tools and latest technologies like open sources. The aimof this commentary is to survey application, opportunities and necessity of intelligent clinical laboratory as atool to increase cancer care management productivity.