The Best of LMS

By By Brian P. Dunleavy
With increased automation in lens processing, having a software system that serves as an effective “hub” and control center for your facility is essential. That’s where laboratory management software (LMS) comes into play. LMS has experienced a revolution of sorts in recent years, as enhanced technology has enabled upgrades. Today’s systems are also fully capable of interfacing with the automated finishing and surfacing equipment being used in most labs.

The result is improved communication and control. Indeed, as labs automate and add conveyors, the best LMS systems act as a central brain that runs the entire facility.

So, if you’re in the process of considering your first LMS system—what took you so long?—or converting to a new one, there are several factors to consider. Here are a few of them:

1. Is the entire LMS system developed, owned and supported by the vendor, including calculations, accounting, reporting, and remote order entry?
2. Can the LMS system communicate with all surfacing and finishing equipment?
3. Does the LMS provider include the cost of in-lab installation, setup, testing and staff training?
4. Does the LMS provider include the cost of the lab server, machinery interface, serial connectivity hardware and/or other hardware?
5. What are the technical support options?
6. How does the Remote Rx Order Entry interface work, and does it include a simple, direct frame tracer component?
7. What are the Rx order jobs status checking options?
8. What reports are available for lens usage, daily sales and other lab management data reporting aspects?
9. Can the Inventory Management program easily import automated lens data updates?

As LMS continues to evolve, vendors are adding new product enhancements constantly. Here are a few recent enhancements/innovations:

Optivision Browser Extensions

Optivision’s Browser Extensions are designed to bring information and functionality to wireless portable devices in the lab.

According to the company, with the extensions, lab staff can use small, portable devices like tablets and smartphones to connect to their Optivision File Server to track jobs, record breakage and enter customer service notes. These browser extensions run on any PC or device with a web browser, including those that are Android- and iOS-based.

In addition, many portable devices can pair with a wireless scanner, which enables barcode scanning for trays and lenses. The retrieving and processing of data is handled by the local file server, so even lower-end devices will function well.

Browser extensions provide many of the LMS functions that traditionally required lab staff to process directly on a PC. This allows labs to create more information and tracking stations in the lab using smaller portable devices while alleviating the need to have PCs installed.

DVI Frame Search

A new enhancement to Digital Vision Incorporated’s LMS eliminates another labor-intensive process that for years has bogged down spectacle Rx production. Called “Frame Search,” the new feature accesses with the push of a key both a lab’s frame database and its order archive. Frame Search eliminates the previously often-lengthy searches needed to match prescriptions to frame styles.

With DVI’s new Frame Search feature on the Rx Entry screen, the process of matching Rxs to frames has been dramatically simplified. Whether you are reviewing an electronic order or keying in a new one, a single keystroke initiates a powerful search of your lab’s frame database and its order archive. Importing a tracing requires only an approximate frame name, along with an eye size and­­ bridge. This takes only a few seconds and is equally effective on uncuts.

The new Frame Search feature—combined with DVI’s sophisticated interface Jobson’s TracingPoints—further demonstrates the company’s commitment to software that minimizes product handling and gets Rxs through the lab right the first time.

Job Staging from Ocuco

How many jobs entail outsourced parts? Or, how often do you need to wait for the “patient’s own frame” to arrive?

If you find yourself frustrated by how long it takes you to collect the status of a complex, multi-part job, Ocuco’s LMS now has a new job staging module to track them. According to the company, the job staging module effectively creates a digital staging area to continuously record the location of job parts and fulfilment status for each job before it begins production. The digital staging area mirrors the physical locations within a lab, providing visibility of the full process and the overall status of the job and saving space in your lab by reducing the need to purchase more trays.

Ultimately, the job staging module is designed to empower a lab by providing a solution that enables the very best in customer support and service. Detailed, up-to-date job status, available at the click of a button will ensure customer expectations are constantly exceeded. The job staging module is also designed to integrate smoothly with Innovations.


Labtalk June 2020