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We have many customers who absolutely love our system and couldn’t live without it. Here are their testimonials.

Bio-Test Laboratory

On behalf of our team here at Bio-Test, we wanted to sincerely thank the team at SchuylerHouse for providing a solid LIS system and excellent support.

Your product and service assisted Bio-Test in attaining a 98% compliance score with the government’s accreditation program for laboratory services. This is at the highest level of scores for labs in the entire province. Believe it or not, the Cytology Follow-Up letter was a topic of great discussion and they were quite impressed with what the LIS generates.

We know we are in good hands with SchuylerHouse.

Best Regards,

Asif Malik
General Manager
Bio-Test Laboratory


Brinks Family Practice, P.C.
By Beth Schmitt MT(ASCP), Laboratory Manager

Sometimes, you do everything wrong.  Sometimes, you go against your better judgement.  Sometimes, you jump in without an escape plan.  Once in awhile, it works.

Several years ago, our family practice was experiencing severe growing pains.  We were adding doctors who wanted all the latest technology as quickly as possible.  We had a lab in our office but could not keep up with the demand of the young and the restless.  We had small chemistry and hematology analyzers, which were adequate for the work load, but expensive for 2 physicians.  As our volume increased and my physicians became more demanding, our small analyzers were no longer cost effective for our office.  I needed more equipment and I needed it quickly.  I also needed more space and more time to do necessary paperwork.

I must pause for a moment to mention that I was spending a great deal of time manually plotting dots on Levy-Jennings charts. Remember those?  At the end of the month, I sat down with my high school calculator and plugged in numbers to get my means, standard deviations, and coefficient of variations.  If I didn’t have the time at work, then I spent the weekend at home doing statistics.  I wasn’t particularly happy and neither was my family.  There is an old saying somewhere, which I will probably misquote, that says something to the effect of “If mom isn’t happy, no one is happy.”

I also need to mention that there are only two laboratory techs in our office.  We draw the blood, run the tests, report out the results, and follow all quality control and quality assurance requirements.  In our spare time, we do audiometries, EKGs, holter monitors, and pulmonary function testing.  Because of our great skills in organization, we also order not only the lab supplies but the medical office supplies, including injectable medicines for the nursing staff.  We tended to be rather busy without playing dot to dot on the graphs during a busy day.

Some of the quality assurance monitors that we utilize include reviewing test numbers, QC trends, patient trends, and chart audits.  These are incredibly time- consuming and, again, mean keeping track of reams of paperwork.  There is nothing quite like going through a month’s worth of daily log sheets, counting tests.  That time was stolen from time at home when I could have been counting sheep, not uric acids. And now my doctors want more testing which means more quality control which means more monitoring which means less sleep for yours truly.

Fortunately, my experience with chemistry, hematology, even immunology was extremely beneficial in selecting appropriate analyzers.  I could work through cost analysis studies, proficiency testing results, and maintenance schedules to determine what instrument was the best ‘fit’ for our office.  I talked with sales representatives, checked references, and did proposals which I presented to my medical staff.  I worked closely with my physician laboratory director in selecting our test menu and the frequency with which these tests would be performed.  Of course, being doctors, the ugly “S” word, (STAT) reared its ugly head.  They felt that patients could come to the office, have their labs drawn and analyzed, and reports in the chart all before they were seen by their doctor 20 minutes later.  I felt that a reality check was in order; therefore a turnaround time study needed to be done.  More paperwork, more monitoring, more loss of sleep, I needed help and I needed help NOW!

I will be the first to admit that my computer experience had not been pleasant.  I had never worked with an LIS before but I had worked with the computers that were attached to various chemistry analyzers.  They were cumbersome, locked up, lost data, and were not exactly “state of the art”.  I had always felt that I was far faster with paper and pencil than any computer that I had worked with so far.

How much did I know about laboratory information systems?  I knew, in theory, that they were supposed to make all of our paperwork go away.  Did I believe it?  Well, I don’t buy swamp land very often.

I had no idea where to begin so  I looked in the journals and circled some numbers on some insert cards. Then I waited for the literature to come in.  Did I understand it?  Not really.  Was I out of my league?  Absolutely!.  Laboratorians do tend to be control freaks and I was definitely not in control.  The information that I received listed astronomical prices and tremendous amounts of labor to hook up to my equipment and get everything online.  There were week long training sessions which, with a staff of two, were not adaptable to our work schedule.  Then come back home and try to install the computer by myself? I don’t think so.

The more I thought about it, the more I really liked the idea of an LIS.  One report, no problems with deciphering handwriting, flagged abnormal results, and of course, meeting CLIA requirements.  However, the “more money, less work” that many of the companies were pushing didn’t set well with either myself or my physicians.

I finally talked to my sales representative who sold me my chemistry analyzer.  He recommended a company that I had not even heard of before.  I went to their web site and found that their system was basically “point and click”.  The system had icons and a pointer.  With art as a hobby, I was always found of pictures.  Now comes the scary part.  I believed my sales rep.  Number one rule when you manage a lab, “Never take your sales representative’s word for anything!”

I called the company and did a little back ground research.  I found out that one of the driving forces behind the LIS was a medical technologist. A real, live medical technologist who had put in a number of years on the bench. At last, someone who had some common sense.  Someone who had “been there, done that” and was actually involved in the programming of the system.

The next step was pricing. Non-laboratory management tends to want to know what billable products such a purchase will produce. These things are not easy to relegate to a cost/expense/profit column.  I managed to roll the cost in with my chemistry analyzer so that it looked pretty good on paper.  Even more convincing was pricing the LIS individually. It was very cost effective. In fact, it was much more so than any of the others that I priced.  At that time, I didn’t know the full benefits of having an LIS. In fact, I am still learning today.

So I bought the LIS, sight unseen, upon the recommendation of a sales rep.  I had never used one and I couldn’t find anyone in similar circumstances that had one.  I only knew that if our lab was to continue to grow, I had to take the leap and purchase this lab information system.

Okay, so I bought an LIS.  Big deal you say!  Unless you have ever brought three analyzers online, written manuals, trained other people, educated your doctors, and all within the period of six months, you have no idea what I am talking about.  I trained and installed the chemistry analyzer in July, the LIS in August, hematology in September and finally the immunoassay analyzer in November.  I was a candidate for every stress relieving medication out there.

One of my biggest fears with the LIS was the installation and training process.  Remember, my previous experiences with computers attached to analyzers were not good.  I had spoken to computer people on the phone before, most of whom had no sense of humor and thought I was a total idiot.  They were also still in their teen years, wore taped together glasses, and talked way over my head in some sort of computerese.  I was dreading the training to say the least. The LIS people called and scheduled someone to come on site. This person would install the equipment and then spend the week training me. All without interfering with our lab’s normal operation. Oh boy!  Was I ever excited! NOT!  What would I do with this kid who thought I was totally stupid for a whole week in the very small space that I call Lab?  As the time approached, I was even more nervous except I was too busy learning the chemistry analyzer and preparing for the hematology analyzer to think about it too much.

I was delightfully surprised to find that my installer/trainer was not only above the legal drinking age but also an experienced laboratorian.  He knew when he could work and when to get out of the way.  He talked so that I could understand the workings of the system and how to get the most from it.  He returned with the installation of each analyzer to put it online.  As with the introduction of all equipment, there were bugs to be worked out.  Did all go smoothly?  I would be lying if I said it was perfect.  Did we put in some long hours?  Absolutely!.  But because we couldn’t shut the lab down to do the training and install, he stayed with me until I was comfortable with the LIS and the interfaces.  I actually was able to change instrument interfaces myself with the help of their technical support staff and PC Anywhere later.

As far as technical support, the language barrier was a problem.  I finally explained to the staff how to speak Midwestern American English instead of California American English.  After they learned the correct way of speaking, we were able to work well together to solve any issues that came up.

One of the benefits of dealing with a smaller company is that I have been able to meet and/or talk to many of the primaries in the business.  I have been able to call them and tell them about certain reports or requirements that would make my life easier and they program them for me.  As the laws and rules change, the LIS must be able to adapt to them, also.  If not, you are stuck with a piece of antiquity, only it won’t fetch a good price at auction like a true antique would.  Nothing makes management lose their cool quicker than to tell them that your purchase of four years ago is obsolete.  Even though I keep my CPR certification up to date, I would rather not use it on my business manager.  Let me restate that.  I would rather not be the reason that I had to use CPR on my business manager.

The benefits of my LIS are amazing.  I can run end-of-month numbers and put them on a spreadsheet in minutes instead of hours.  I can print out any type of paperwork or report that an inspector would want. I can document maintenance online. I can run parallel QC, plot trends, and have Levy-Jennings at a glance. I can do delta checks. All my instrument QC and patient results go directly into the LIS from the analyzers.  No more storage of instrument print outs for 2 years.  I have decreased my filing space tremendously.  I am able to switch analyzers without purchasing new interfaces. With this company, you purchase the interface once. There is no interface fee if you upgrade analyzers.  Having my LIS and using it correctly met many of the CLIA requirements automatically.  To do the amount of testing that our lab currently does and do it without an LIS would mean hiring another technologist.  Actually, it would mean hiring two more techs because I would no longer work here.

I don’t have enough space to list all the pluses of my LIS, but then again, I have fallen in love with mine. I have talked to other lab techs who just aren’t as happy with their systems as I am with mine.  Maybe they did too much research, or maybe they spent too much money.  Once in awhile, they should just trust their instincts and go with an inexpensive system with little advertising.  When problems arise, try to resolve them.  I have a simple system, “Ask nicely then yell!”  It works for me.  So does my LIS.

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