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Towards full digitalisation

Towards full digitalisation
2019 12-11

As part of the LNS Annual Report 2018, we conducted a series of interviews and reports to better present the LNS through its staff and departments. This is the eigth and last interview featuring Thibaut Lenfant, IT manager,  followed by the corresponding report. Enjoy your discovery!


The information technology (IT) service is responsible for setting, administering and developing IT systems and networks for the professional activities of LNS. In 2018, the service was involved in two essential projects aiming to digitalise data transmission: eHospital and eDoctor.


“As a national reference laboratory, we receive each year hundreds of thousands requests for sample medical analysis from our different stakeholders: doctors, hospitals and private laboratories”, commented Thibaut Lenfant, head of the service. “According to our estimations, we receive 232,280 requests per year, which represent 1,106,255 paper mailings of reports, and this number will increase over time. Thanks to the digitalisation of the LNS transmission data, we can save paper on reports, but that is not the only advantage! The global traceability process and data tracking will be improved. In the future, all the samples will be univocally identified and localised before the reception process inside LNS. Every data creation, modification, deletion and transfer will be stored and tracked, which will give more transparency between all the actors: LNS, prescribers and partner organisations. Data digitalisation will ensure stable and standardised data throughout the process with all the stakeholders and will reduce transmission times.”

“More specifically, we want to create a bidirectional model that will appear as follows. LNS will offer its analysis catalogue online, which will allow partners to place their e-orders and send them electronically to LNS. By doing so, they will generate unique IDs which will make the link between each e-prescription and each sample and will guarantee sample tracking between the different stakeholders. Finally, the results will be sent electronically. The whole process – from prescriptions to results – will be fully digital.”


Since 2017, the IT unit has been initiating the first steps of LNS digitalisation. “We launched this year the test and pilot phases of our eHospital project”, detailed Thibaut Lenfant. “The ultimate purpose is to enable the exchange of structured data – names and codes of the doctor and of the patient, date and time of the sampling, date and time of the analysis, etc. – with the private laboratories and the four hospitals of the country (via the HL7 protocol1) and the ministère de la Santé (via the XML language). In 2018, we went to the production phase to deliver the reports directly to the patient files of two hospitals. At the moment, the exchange is only unidirectional. Our next challenge will be to make it bidirectional. We will do this at first with one hospital by implementing an electronic order entry system. This electronic database will aim to ensure single identity management for each patient inside LNS, which represents the missing link to simple, reliable and quality information for effective exchanges with the LNS partners.”

In November 2018, the service initiated the eDoctor project. “The objective is to connect the 140 doctors with whom we have many activities – they send more than 100 prescriptions per year to LNS”, explained Thibaut Lenfant. “The pilot phase during which we deliver the reports to 20 doctors both electronically (via the exchange data solution Regibox) and paper-based will end after the validation process in 2019. After this phase, paper-based transmission will be removed at the request of the recipient.”

According to Thibaut Lenfant, electronic data transmission is on the way to becoming the routine in coming years. “We are expecting a growing number of digitally delivered results. In 2019, around a fifth of the reports – 225,000 out of a total of 1,100,000 – will be digital. In addition, this digitalisation has had a positive impact on the image of LNS and strengthened the trust of our stakeholders. For example, we found that the doctors involved in the pilot phase of the eDoctor project sent us many more diagnostic test requests than in the past!”