Over 95 percent of physicians in emergency clinics use an EHR daily. But when it comes to ordering lab tests, they resort to manual data entry and paper-based methods. Doctors will end up retyping patient demographic information and health insurance details into lab ordering systems. This process is cumbersome, tedious, and error-prone. Fortunately, you can build a physician-friendly lab orders interface that allows physicians to send semi-automated electronic lab order requests to a laboratory information system (LIS) without unnecessary manual entry. When selecting a vendor for your lab orders interface development, here are the essential features and benefits to demand.
1. Clean Orders
The interface must be able to generate orders directly from the patient’s chart. That means it can pull in the patient’s name, ID, SSN, chart number, and insurance details.
Any errors in patient demographics can easily lead to delayed or denied payments.
After pulling the patient’s details into the order interface, the doctor should have minimal work to complete the order. Data entry can be enhanced by offering drop-down menus to select test codes and other test details.
2. Order Validation
After pulling in patient demographic data and insurance details, clinicians must add several other data elements. Some of them are specimen details, while others are linked with billing and other lab requirements.
While some data elements are optional, others are compulsory, and any omission or error can cause the test to be delayed. This can have dire consequences since most physicians depend heavily on lab results for their diagnosis and treatment.
That is why it is essential to have a solid order validation module linked to the interface. For internal labs, virtually all the fields can be verified to ensure that the lab receives a perfect order.
3. A Detailed Status Dashboard
Lab orders have varied completion times. While some may be completed within 24 hours, others may take up to a week to complete. For this reason, it is vital to have a dashboard that shows the status of each lab order.
Before the massive digitization of the healthcare industry, physicians had to make phone calls and send many emails to know the status of lab orders. For large laboratories, this would require staff to sit with a phone and a computer all day.
A more efficient way to provide status updates is to use a dashboard. For each other, the status may be “Pending”, “In Progress”, or “Completed”. Some orders may also be suspended or canceled if they have errors or are duplicates.
4. Batch Ordering
Many labs receive orders from internal and external clients. And these lab orders are usually sent as individual orders.
However, a patient may need to run multiple tests for a particular diagnosis. That’s why the ordering interface must have a way to handle different orders as a group.
For instance, if a doctor places an order for three related tests, the interface must have a way to tag the three tests as a group. This will ensure that they are performed in a batch rather than as individual tests for different patients.
5. Order Code Mapping and Maintenance
If your organization uses only one lab, maintaining order codes will not be a significant issue. The lab can supply updates, and your vendor or support team can update them periodically. However, if you send orders to different laboratories, your ordering interface must have a way to map test order codes to your lab’s LIS test codes. It is essential to discuss all these features before you sign a development contract.
Connect to a Lab Orders Interface Development Expert
Lifepoint Informatics specializes in building customizable lab order interfaces. Call us now at 877.522.8378 to see a live demo of our interoperability solutions. Reach us through our contact page today to book a free consultation.