Ordering lab results should no longer be a manual process now that at least 9 out of 10 physicians in the U.S. use electronic health records (EHR) systems. In fact, 96% of non-federal acute care hospitals have a certified EHR. Manual lab test orders are slow, error-prone, and costly. The better alternative is to have a medical provider portal for ordering lab tests online. This article will look at the uses and benefits of a well-designed web interface for ordering lab tests.
1. Efficient Lab Test Ordering
Online portals can drastically reduce the time required to order a lab test. The difference between manual and computerized ordering becomes evident in large healthcare facilities.
Providers can save several productive hours every week by using a portal for tests. Apart from the quick ordering process, portals automate several tasks like keying in patient details and codes and checking errors.
2. Fast Viewing of Test Status
Doctors can quickly check the status of any lab order. While some lab orders may be processed within a day, some may take longer.
On the portal, the physician can view time estimates for processing orders and the present status of the order. This is more convenient than picking up the phone to track individual lab orders.
Manual tracking puts a strain on the already overstretched lab staff, and it may not give an accurate picture of the processing time or expected time for the arrival of the test result.
3. Generation of Digital Sample Codes
No matter how often a clinician makes orders, the likelihood of using the wrong test codes is still very high. Test codes can run into thousands. New ones may be added and old ones dropped.
Remembering codes for various tests was a chore for most medical professionals. It required reference to code manuals and other materials to avoid errors.
The physician picks the description with computerized test ordering while the software selects the appropriate codes to match the lab test.
This eliminates errors associated with entering wrong codes, and it prevents delays in processing test samples.
4. Efficient Eligibility Checking
Not all lab tests are eligible for funding by health insurance plans. It is essential to verify patient and test data to avoid rejected claims.
While making the order, the clinician can quickly verify patient coverage and deductible information. That way, accurate information will be transferred into the LIS and billing systems.
Before the lab order is accepted, the verification system will collect the patient data from the order and send them to health insurance payers on their network. Then the validated payer response and eligibility can be returned in real-time.
5. Decision Support for Test Interpretation
In some organizations, the same portal used for ordering can be used to view test results. Clicking on the order or a results button will open up the results in a new tab.
Data visualizations, color codes, and typical or expected results may aid interpretation and diagnosis. This feature allows the clinician to create effective treatment plans and help the patient understand the results’ meaning and implications. Consequently, the patient will participate more actively in the treatment, resulting in better care outcomes.
Using a robust provider portal to order lab tests offers many benefits over manual ordering. It reduces errors, automates many data entry and verification tasks, and helps to monitor test status.
Connect With a Medical Provider Portal Developer Today
At Lifepoint Informatics, we develop web portals for clinicians and lab managers to use for their daily operations. Give us a call now at 877.522.8378 to book a free consultation session, or visit our contact page to discuss your needs or request a free demo of our mobile lab test ordering solutions.