Electronic ordering of lab tests has increased rapidly over the last decade. This increase was due to the passage of the Federal HITECH Act in 2009. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of implementing new health IT systems, some practices still send paper-based test orders and receive results by fax. However, the benefits of implementing a physician portal for diagnostic test ordering outweigh the costs. Let’s review a few of them.
1. Minimize Errors
Electronic orders, also called computerized physician order entry (CPOE), reduces errors linked to manual processing. A study showed that electronic orders reduced the possibility of error by 48% compared to paper-based order entry.
When combined with a clinical decision support system (CDSS), electronic ordering can prevent many errors that have serious clinical consequences. For instance, it can prevent a doctor from ordering unnecessary tests or ordering harmful medication for patients with allergies.
When a CPOE system is integrated correctly with patient data in the EHR, it can minimize errors by 99%.
2. Boost Clinicians’ Efficiency
Another benefit of a physician electronic ordering portal is a boost in productivity. It reduces manual tasks and streamlines the process.
The portal reduces the time needed to check lab test codes, fill test order forms, and verify insurance information. That way, physicians spend far less time on paperwork and have more time for patients.
3. Speed Up Treatment
Electronic transmission of orders and results reduces the time needed to provide emergency or ambulatory care to patients. Time-consuming faxes, printing, manual data entry, and labeling of specimens give way to the automatic population of form fields from the EHR.
Since treatment depends mainly on proper diagnosis and diagnosis depends on test results, efficient test ordering is a key to improving the quality of patient care.
4. Reduce Operational Cost
Using CPOE for diagnostic tests can cut down costs for patients and providers. The cost reduction is more significant for large and mid-sized providers who process tons of lab tests daily.
Various studies have revealed that providers can save thousands of dollars annually by switching to electronic ordering. This makes it a wise investment with significant long-term returns.
5. Improve Patient Engagement
Electronic test orders can improve patient engagement and satisfaction. Patients will love the faster processing of orders and quick receipt of test results.
Results that come in electronic form can be sent to patients by email and posted on a patient portal.
Physicians can also use a mobile device (like a tablet) to show a patient their results and use the values to enhance patient education. Patients usually exert more effort to improve their health when they understand the full meaning of the test results sent to them.
The benefits of developing and installing a portal for electronic ordering of tests are significant enough to justify its cost. However, it is not a simple task. You will need the help of an expert to implement a CPOE system successfully.
Ready to Deploy an Efficient Physician Portal for Diagnostic Test Ordering?
Give us a call at Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378, and let’s discuss your needs. Reach us through our contact page to book a free consultation.