- by William Seay
What better way for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathologists to deliver, present, and archive patient test results for their physician clients, providers, accountable care organizations (ACO), and payers than from a secure and cost-efficient web-based solution powered by a unified workflow platform. Built by laboratorians for laboratorians, the service offers functionality including online ordering, data management, correlation capabilities, and access to education and interpretation information.
The service is web-based as opposed to web enabled, which means no proprietary hard ware or software is required. Clinicians are able to fully utilize the service from anywhere they have access to the Internet and a standard web browser, including Apple and Android phones, tablets and any web enabled device. Rather than deliver scanned images of data results, the website allows the dynamic display of reports, which offers the ability to color highlight abnormal results, graph result histories, and customize the display of results in real time.
Launching laboratories in cyberspace
Over the years, laboratories have tried myriad delivery methods to get test results to their clients. Many are costly to install as well as maintain. With the arrival of the Internet, a powerful medium is now available for clinical laboratories. While some laboratories choose to spend the time and money developing an in-house system for online result retrieval and test ordering, others see the benefits of outsourcing this service for immediate deployment. Laboratories utilizing Lifepoint Informatics will benefit in the following ways:
• A cobranding and private-label program will help build brand loyalty and increase competitiveness
• Value-added services, such as interpretation tools, increase physician-client satisfaction and retention
• Immediate deployment opportunities can decrease the laboratory's reliance on current laboratory in formation systems (LIS) vendor
• On-line ordering from and reporting to physician clients improves efficiency and accuracy
• Reports can be delivered much faster and more cost-effectively than traditional methods
• Web-based ordering functionality includes medical necessity checking based upon local medical re view policy (LMRP)
• Choice of remotely hosted application service provider (ASP) or client-hosted system.
Web resulting appeals to doctors
Doctors have many options when it comes to choosing a laboratory to handle their diagnostic testing. Laboratories that provide clinicians with services that enable them to deliver a higher level of patient care are more attractive and marketable. Labtest.com offers direct interface with the laboratory for both ordering and receiving tests; review of patient laboratory results securely and conveniently from anywhere-the office, hospital, home, a plane-via computer, laptop, palm pilot, or cell phone; customizable reports, abnormal results highlighted in color ( Figure 1), and trend analysis; cumulative reports in graphical (Figure 2) and tabular formats; and the option of forwarding results directly to patients along with educational information and hyperlinks.
Patients demand active role in healthcare
A recent survey revealed that 77% of patients prefer to get on-line health information directly from their doctors; however, only about 10% of doctors have such capabilities. A patient access portal can act as a conduit between doctors and their patients, allowing them at their discretion, to forward laboratory results with the click of a mouse. Plus the laboratory will stay compliant with CLIA regulations. Patients can also obtain educational and interpretational information about laboratory test results and share current results and their medical histories with other healthcare specialists.
Privacy and security
Everyone is concerned about sensitive medical data being transferred through cyberspace. These concerns, while valid, are identifiable and solvable. Lifepoint Informatics offers a sophisticated security architecture that protects medical information utilizing multiple firewalls, intrusion detection systems, secure sockets layer (SSL), Virtual Private Networking (VPN), and database encryption. The Verisign® Global ID (Mountain View, CA) uses SSL, an encryption protocol, as data is sent from the Web server to the physician's browser, ensuring compliance with proposed Health Insurance Portability & Accounting Act (HIPAA) regulations. Physician clients who do not have a 128-bit browser are automatically stepped up to 128-bit encryption only for the duration of the session on the Web site. In addition, sophisticated password distribution schemes as sure adherence to future state and federal laws concerning physician authentication and identification.
To begin using the system, no upfront capital out lay is necessary. All that is needed is a Health Level Seven (HL7) data file from a laboratory's LIS system. Because most LIS programs already have the ability to produce and export HL 7, transferring data to Lifepoint Informatics servers is virtually plug-and-play.
Get your laboratory & anatomic pathology results in real-time, when you want, how you want, & where you want