Laboratory Information Management System Case Study

A fully integrated solution capable of processing over 15,000 specimens daily


At A Glance


  • The company is one of the largest Clinical Urine Drug Testing (UDT) and medication monitoring laboratories in the United States.
  • A new solution was required that would integrate existing instruments, analyzers and other platforms throughout the lab, while replacing their existing Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), which was error-prone and operating beyond capacity.
  • It was critical that this new system would integrate flawlessly to scale appropriately to handle their rapidly growing business.


The Solution

Primero developed a browser-based LIMS capable of processing over 15,000 specimens daily.



  • Processes a significantly larger number of daily specimens compared to the system that it replaced.
  • Enables data entry that fits the customer need, whether by paper requisition, online ordering, or HL7.
  • Provides a single source for all requisition related data including intake, processing, reporting, billing and customer service.

What's a LIMS?

A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a software system that records, manages, and stores data for laboratories.

The Challenge

One of the nation’s largest health solutions companies was experiencing some growing pains. Its clinical urine drug testing and medication monitoring laboratories were becoming increasingly popular resources for clinicians, but their systems for recording, managing and storing data were becoming overwhelmed.  With an extensive testing menu that can screen for more than 95 drugs and metabolites, an ever-increasing volume of samples being processed each day, and facilities in all 50 states – the company found itself at a crossroads. When all of these factors combined, it was fast becoming clear that a new workflow management approach was needed.

Currently using a heavily modified “off-the-shelf” LIMS that would regularly crash and was hitting maximum capacity, this drug testing lab found that their makeshift LIMS wasn’t able to grow with the business. As a rapidly growing company, they needed a solution that was custom-built to their specific needs. It was time for the company’s LIMS to start helping to drive business forward - instead of impeding its progress.


The Primero Prescription

After familiarizing themselves with Primero and their track record – they have been developing custom software solutions for the clinical laboratory space since 1996 - the lab felt confident that they had found the right team for the job. The lab was relying on Primero to remove the guesswork involved with efficiently collecting and analyzing test results, ensuring proper HIPAA compliance, interfacing with insurance or patient billing systems, and securely delivering patient test results.

More than up for the challenge, Primero developed a complete LIMS for the company’s urine and oral fluid drug testing operations that supports over 15,000 specimens daily - with 100% uptime. From the moment a specimen enters the door through its entire lifecycle and related customer reports, the company’s new, custom-built LIMS deftly handles every touchpoint.

The new system can accommodate new orders to fit the preference of any of the lab’s clients. For clients opting to order by paper requisition, the Primero system provides a robust order entry screen that allows for remarkably fast input and high throughput. For those clients preferring to go paperless, the system’s web-based functionality allows users to place their orders using an intuitive online ordering system from the browser and device of their choice. This same online interface also allows the user to track work-in-progress as well as current and archived result reports. Additionally, clients in institutions with Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems also can place orders through the robust HL7 interface to the LIMS.

Building a better LIMS

This cannot be understated: testing thousands of specimens per day with potentially dozens of test results per specimen creates a treasure trove of data. The lab’s new LIMS produces industry-leading reports and insights in real-time for maximum provider and patient benefit. What’s more, the system can deliver those reports in a variety of ways: via an automated fax process,  through a secure online portal or pushed out to EMRs by an HL7 interface (regardless of whether or not the order originated via HL7).

Then comes the final stage of the specimen lifecycle - test details are pushed electronically (again via the HL7 protocol) to the responsible billing party.

From specimen intake to accessioning, testing, reporting, and billing – the company’s new LIMS does it all.

It even sees into the future. In addition to the drug testing LIMS described above, Primero also built a system to handle genetic testing and all of its complexities. As with the lab’s other new LIMS, this system was designed to support the business demands of today while anticipating and planning for the needs of the tomorrow. How’s that for prescience?

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