Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems need to be connected to each other. Having separate LIS and EHR systems within the same healthcare organization will lead to inefficiencies, loss of productivity, and maintenance of redundant information. So, there are several factors to consider when building a NextGen LIS EMR interface.
With the development of EHRs like NextGen Office and NextGen Enterprise, which were specifically designed for ambulatory medical practice, many healthcare providers now have systems that improve clinical care, streamline financial management, boost patient health, and connect practices to national interoperability exchanges. After deploying an EHR, it’s still necessary to link it to the LIS for productivity, cost efficiency, and regulatory compliance.
The Need for LIS and EHR Integration
Electronic Health Records are supposed to capture personal and health information about patients and store them in a format that enhances information sharing. This shared data includes lab test results and radiology images.
Similarly, the LIS is supposed to serve as a hub that can receive orders and transmit lab results to the EHR or to the reference lab if the tests were performed in an external laboratory. Apart from the efficiency that an LIS-EHR interface provides, it’s also a required objective in the Meaningful Use program that offers financial incentives to healthcare providers.
An electronic interface between a certified EHR and the LIS is a necessary part of the meaningful use requirement, and at least 40% of the lab test results must be included in the EHR as structured data.
The NextGen LIS EMR Interface Enhances Proper Diagnosis
Annually, billions of samples are tested in laboratories across the United States. These tests form a vital part of the diagnostic process, and most medical decisions are made based on the results from laboratory tests. It’s essential for lab information systems to be integrated with your NextGen EHR so physicians can make quicker diagnoses, have access to all lab results within seconds, and be able to create treatment plans that enhance the quality of care and patient outcomes.
Factors to Consider Before Implementing an LIS-EHR Interface
Planning the workflow of each LIS-EHR interface is essential for successful implementation. Endeavor to answer these questions before implementing a new interface:
- Workflow: How will the new interface affect your current workflow?
- Network configuration: If the LIS is part of the existing network, how will result files be transferred securely on the network?
- Test ordering: How will physicians place orders, and how will specimens be labeled with barcodes?
- Data transfer: When will test results be transferred to the EMR?
- Deployment: Will there be a test environment during deployment? How will users be trained to use the new system?
- Result validation: How can we check and validate the test results in the EMR before we send them to providers?
Building an interface for ambulatory EHRs like NextGen can be enhanced by using industry-standard specifications for interoperability. The specification called HL7 can facilitate the communication between the LIS software and NextGen.
Lifepoint Informatics has a system integration team that builds and manages such interfaces. We work with EHR and LIS vendors as well as clients to develop, deploy, and train end-users to reap the full benefits of each interface.
Let Us Help You Develop a NextGen LIS EMR Interface
Contact us at Lifepoint Informatics by calling 877.522.8378 today for a free consultation on the implementation of an efficient LIS EMR interface. We can help you build an interface that gives you direct access to all test results from your EHR and improves your quality of care.