You will agree that having a lab interface that links your practice to your EHR is now a necessity and not a luxury. However, with a large number of interfaces and interface developers, you may become overwhelmed by the large of choices. Before choosing a lab interface or asking a developer to build one for you, here are some tips for selecting a cost-effective lab interface for your organization.
1. Create a Detailed Requirements List
A requirements list is essential because it helps you to separate critical features from less important ones. You will minimize cost when you focus on developing an interface that fulfills the most critical functions.
Essential functions include:
- Quick ordering of lab tests
- A means of tracking the status of tests
- An interface for searching for tests
- Electronic transmission of test results
- A customizable report generator
Begin by writing down a long list of features and solutions you want in your new interface. Then reorder the list, so the essential requirements are on top. Keep your list handy when you are watching a demo or interviewing a vendor.
2. Choose a Cloud-based Solution
You may be able to choose between an interface hosted in-house or in the cloud. While the in-house option may seem more secure, the cost of hardware, staffing, training, and maintenance will quickly add up and make your interface an expensive project.
On the other hand, choosing a cloud-based solution will allow you to enjoy faster deployment while reducing upgrades and maintenance costs.
3. Evaluate the Total Cost of Ownership
When planning for a new lab interface, you may rely on the vendor’s quote alone to evaluate costs. Avoid this mistake.
Instead, you need to focus on the total cost of the solution over the next few years. In addition to deployment costs, you need to consider the following:
- Cost of training your users
- Cost of maintenance
- Cost of updates
- Cost of securing your interface
- Cost of any data migration
- Cost of any system upgrades required before full deployment
4. Consider Ease of Use
The essence of deploying a lab interface is to increase operational efficiency and provide better patient care. That means your interface must reduce manual workload and data entry errors.
When you are evaluating the user interface, here are some of the questions to ask:
- Does it have a comprehensive list of test codes?
- Is the test code list easy to update when new codes are released?
- How long does it take to make a single lab test order?
- Is the user interface easy to use without extensive training?
- Are any parts of the interface customizable to meet changing needs?
- Does the interface allow you to search for tests quickly?
In addition to these questions, you may also add more to ensure that your vendor offers you a robust and intuitive user interface.
5. Check the Customer Support
Ordering tests is a vital aspect of diagnosis and treatment. And once you start using your interface, the quality of patient care you provide will depend on it.
That’s why you must have 24/7 support from your software vendor. Ensure that your vendor has knowledgeable representatives and technicians on hand to fix problems or provide information when needed.
See a Demo of a Cost-Effective Lab Interface
If you want to develop and install an affordable and fully functional lab interface for your EHR/EMR, contact Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378. Also, you can get in touch through our contact page and book a free consultation or demo.