Lab Order Management System

Design and support of online order management portals for customers and internal users.

Adaptive Biotechnologies, Seattle, WA

Senior UX Design Lead and only designer on the Software team, working closely with product managers, developers, business owners, and internal and external end users.

The products are diagnostic tests that read and measure how the adaptive immune system detects and treats disease by sequencing and identifying which T- or B-cell receptors have been seen or are actively fighting diseases in a patient’s immune system. One of the immune medicine products is clonoSEQ, a diagnostic test that detects, counts, and tracks disease in blood and bone marrow samples from cancer patients. The test is used by clinicians to monitor disease and inform treatment decisions.

When we started the project, clinicians would need to fill in a paper or PDF form and email or fax it to Adaptive to place an order. The clinical service team would then manually process and track each order in various Excel documents. Reports were created manually using a Word or Excel template. Managing orders was slow and labor intensive, and the risk of mistakes high. The company needed a more efficient way to process orders and manage order samples.

Original order form and report templates

The team took an iterative approach to develop the order management system, starting with the development of an internal portal for Adaptive customer service teams. The initial focus was to help the internal teams create orders, track tests, and deliver order results.

Initial release of the lab order management system

Once the internal portal had been completed, the next step was to build out a customer portal for clinicians to eliminate the need to fax or email in orders. The business wanted to take a similar form approach to the ordering experience—to keep the process someone what familiar for existing users—but include more guidance through the multi-step ordering process. Working closely with the business and customer services teams to define the requirements, the software team began with creating wireframes to explore the ordering experience and redesign of the report templates. Wireframes and report templates were evaluated and refined with existing customers. Key design objectives for the customer portal were to:

  • supporting users through the ordering process and simplifying the number of decisions the user needs to make;
  • keep the screen design simple to implement in order to meet the project timeline;
  • delivering results that were easy for the clinician to understand and communicate to patients; and
  • define a visual language using existing product brand elements.
Initial site map for the Diagnostic Portal
Early wireframe for order list
Early report mock-up to test with clinicians

The initial Diagnostic Portal software release allowed clinicians and staff to create orders and download results. The Internal Portal was also updated to receive and process the orders.

Release of the Diagnostic Portal and updated to the Internal Portal

Subsequent releases added functionality to both the Diagnostic Portal and Internal Portal, which that made it easier for customer service to resolve discrepancies with the customer, pre-populating orders, integration into a customer’s EMR system, and adding a new product line and COVID test.

Over the years, the software team built out the lab order management system to include new functionality for sample and patient management, as well as a new portal for customers submitting research orders. Key system successes include:

  • improved operational efficiency for customer service and billing teams—the orders immediately showed up in the internal order management system and the internal teams could easily find and manage orders;
  • providing a single location for customers to order and access results;
  • eliminating repetitive manual data entry for customers and internal support services;
  • made it faster for clinicians to create orders for follow up testing; and
  • provide results that were easy to understand and share with patients. 
Additional functionality and services added over the years
Order List in the Diagnostic Portal
Order form in Diagnostic Portal
Sample MRD Tracking report

About Diagnostic Portal