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21 September 2022

Three ways Horizon improves public health efforts

Earlier this year, HORIZON Lab Systems and ApolloLIMS were acquired by the Clinisys Group to grow the organization’s community and public health diagnostics capability.

HORIZON specialized in laboratory information management systems across several verticals including clinical, toxicology and environmental. Based on these verticals, it was our overall expertise in public health that acted as the primary catalyst for the acquisition.

Let’s learn more about the ways in which HORIZON supports and improves public health efforts, and how we augment the Clinisys offering.

Holistic support for public health

Public health awareness has reached heights currently unseen. Multiple campaigns, national days of awareness and other initiatives, not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic, have increased the population’s general consciousness of major public health issues.

Despite this awareness, a vast majority of countries are overwhelmingly underequipped to handle major public health emergencies. According to the 2021 Global Health Security Index, 73% of countries cannot provide expedited approval for human medical countermeasures, such as vaccines and antiviral drugs, during a public health emergency.

Holistic public health efforts like wastewater surveillance, viral infection prevention, or the processing of safe drinking water must be considered under the larger umbrella of public health surveillance. Ongoing and systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data are essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health initiatives.

Public health labs (PHLs) are the cornerstone of the communities in which they operate. Tasked with disease prevention, control and surveillance, reference and specialized testing, environmental health and protection, food safety, research, and emergency response support, PHLs have a vast range of responsibilities. The testing performed at these PHLs helps guide public policy decisions.

The Clinisys Group’s first public health lab implementations go back to the 1990s, and we’ve been strengthening our expertise ever since. Our broad, comprehensive solutions have given us a 100% customer retention rate of PHL customers. These solutions help laboratories and their scientists prepare for and address both ongoing and potential public health emergencies.

Public health labs need comprehensive and detailed information systems to handle the extensive documentation required across the work of clinical laboratories. This laboratory information management system, or LIMS, is a software system used to track all information flowing in and out of the laboratory.

When you use the HORIZON system, you get a universal, integrated approach to the control and distribution of your laboratory data. Here are some of the ways in which the HORIZON information management system helps support and improve public health efforts.

Easily exchange data

Public health labs are essential to the communities they serve. Thus, they must be able to easily communicate data electronically and to meet compliance, securely. PHLs communicate with public health organizations such as the WHOCDCNational Electronic Disease Surveillance SystemNational Respiratory & Enteric Virus Surveillance System, and many more.

With HORIZON, the data your scientists work with becomes automated and integrated across all workflows. Our HIPAA-compliant web portal then allows you to efficiently and safely share data with any organization your laboratory collaborates with, including laboratory response networks and local health partners.

Utilize multiple secured service lines

Of all types of laboratories, public health labs offer the widest range of testing, including clinical, toxicological, newborn screening, STD, environmental, and food safety tests, to mention a few.

With more than 20 years of experience in the PHL market and customers that include both state and county PHLs, HORIZON gives you the ability to support all service lines. The CDC requires strict competency guidelines for any LIMS, and our employees stay up to date with the latest in data security. Password encryption, cloud back-ups, audit logs, role-based access, monthly application patching, and annual employee HIPAA training are just a few of the steps we take for your lab.

Achieve rapid turnaround

Public health laboratories must balance a staggering amount of work. To enhance productivity and speed, HORIZON is designed to be tailored to your specific laboratory workflow. To meet the particular demands of individual PHLs, we provide a number of à la carte options tailored to PHLs.

HORIZON speeds up turnaround times and decreases manual paperwork through the automation of submittal orders, integration directly with your instruments, and rapid and effective ad hoc reporting.

Looking forward

The COVID-19 pandemic taught the healthcare industry many lessons, mainly that society should be more prepared for the next major public health event.

HORIZON is committed to transforming the future of global and public health with laboratory informatics solutions. Our expertise now extends to a wide range of laboratories, including environmental, water, wastewater, quality testing, agriculture and forensic toxicology. Our robust set of capabilities supports these labs as they lead research and testing around major public health crises.

We will continue to improve our support and response time, to help you navigate high testing demands and alleviate depleted laboratory staff.

Our partnership with the Clinysis family of solutions delivers a complementary, holistic public health solution to help labs better prepare for the future. Visit Clinisys for more information about our LIMS, outbreak management, and disease surveillance data management solutions.