Most US practices and providers expect laboratory connectivity and benefit from a lab interface as a result. The old order with handwritten orders and results sent by postal mail or fax is fast fading away. Now, virtually all practices have an electronic health record system with clinical data, insurance details, billing information, and patient demographics entered into their database. That’s why they also expect laboratories to develop the capacity to receive lab test orders and send test results back to them in real-time.
Apart from the convenience provided by a lab interface, it is important to build and maintain one for the following reasons:
1. Accurate Laboratory Results
Laboratory errors are costly. They can easily cause a sharp rise in costs and reduce your patients’ satisfaction. A significant percentage of lab test errors lead to poor investigation and wrong diagnosis and treatment. This also causes other financial leakages in the entire health care system.
In addition to reducing the financial impact of lab errors, a well-designed lab interface will help the lab operators contribute to the delivery of value-based care to the patient. The results provided by labs has a direct impact on a patient’s diagnosis and treatment. A lab interface will prevent duplicate tests and wrongly-matched patient records while improving patient safety.
2. Reduce Claim Denials
Most claim denials can be avoided. They are usually caused by technical or user errors coupled with missing or inaccurate data. Manual entry of data can lead to errors in demographic information and erroneous provider data.
A well-built lab interface can lead to a reduction in denied claims. Lab solution providers like LifePoint Informatics can help create innovative solutions that collect clean orders from the EHR. These orders are processed and sent back to the lab with minimal data entry. So, the opportunity for error is greatly minimized.
3. Access to Correct Demographics and Insurance Data
A laboratory information system (LIS) may be integrated with an EHR in the same healthcare organization. This helps to avoid errors that come manually entering patient data. But when a clinician is working with an external ordering interface, placing orders increases the risk of entering inaccurate patient demographic or billing information. Typing and duplicating of data may lead to typos and missing fields.
A lab interface makes it possible to bridge the gap between the EHR and the external ordering system. Demographic and insurance data can be pulled from the practice management software directly into the EHR system without the need to retype any patient information.
4. Automated Documentation of Medical Necessities
Labs frequently receive orders that have some vital details missing. These details include advanced beneficiary notices (ABNs), diagnosis codes, and eligibility for insurance. Many times, providers forget to provide documentation that supports the medical necessity of the order.
To be reimbursed for their services, labs must have access to full documentation on insurance pre-authorizations and medical necessities. Reworking claim denials requires a significant amount of correspondence, which can amount to thousands of dollars monthly for a high-volume lab. The best way to avoid this costly reworking of claims is to develop a lab interface that can intercept incomplete test orders.
Do You Need a Sophisticated Lab Interface?
Now you have the freedom to build an interface that can automate data collection during test orders and ensure that all required data is received before a test is carried out. For more information on how to build a custom laboratory interface for internal or external lab test orders, call Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 or contact us online today.