Almost all healthcare practices and providers in the U.S. now use an EHR to capture, store, and retrieve patient information. As EHRs become the norm, more physicians, both office-based and family practitioners, use electronic lab orders to improve practice efficiency. Placing electronic lab orders eliminates the manual processes involved in making paper-based orders. Let’s look at some of the main benefits of electronic diagnostic test ordering and lab result outreach.
1. Reduced Errors
Moving to electronic lab orders will eliminate most order errors. Ordering directly from the patient chart within the EHR takes care of handwriting errors caused by legibility problems. It also prevents the occurrence of lost orders or duplicate testing.
Electronically ordering lab or radiology tests will cut out multiple physician errors because they are sent directly to the laboratory’s information system. In most cases, no manual entry of patient details is required. Doctors only need to choose the type of test required and add any comments or notes for the lab or radiology staff.
The ordering interface also contains the details the lab or radiology technologists need to complete the order successfully. So there’s no need to enter patient information manually or delay orders due to incomplete data.
2. Time Savings
Results for electronic lab orders usually arrive twice as fast as paper-based orders. Sending orders manually is very time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Another issue with paper-based orders is the frequent duplication of orders. This happens more often in practices that have fewer staff to coordinate ordering tests and tracking results.
However, when tests can be ordered directly from the EHR, it just takes a few clicks. Some practices can save up to one hour daily because they can order diagnostic tests without tedious manual processes.
3. Better Coordination of Patient Care
Ordering tests electronically within the EHR interface allows for better order tracking. Without going through many paper charts or switching from one application to another, you can view the completed and pending orders.
You can also evaluate each test’s results within the context of historical results and monitor patients with chronic conditions.
4. Decision Support System
Diagnostic testing is getting more sophisticated with the use of clinical decision support. Doctors can now receive alerts and directions about the type of lab tests required for their patients.
For instance, patients with specific vitals may be recommended for glucose tests to detect early signs of diabetes. This helps doctors get more information for effective diagnosis and reduces the time required to discover a terminal medical condition.
Contact Us to Learn More About Electronic Lab Result Outreach
At LifePoint Informatics we design, develop, and deploy lab interoperability interfaces for healthcare organizations. We have completed more than 20,000 projects for clients over the last 20 years. Call us now at 877.522.8378 to schedule a free consultation and see a demo of some of our solutions.