Most labs and radiology centers can’t rely on in-house testing for all their revenue. Many also need to get involved in regional or specialty testing. To carry this out effectively, labs must invest in relationship building, marketing, and customer service. One of the essential tools for improving the profitability of a lab is an affordable interface for outreach. Outreach applications are now web-based. This means that users can have secure access to the application for ordering, tracking, and result reporting anytime and from any location.

However, a lab must overcome the main challenge of ensuring that its outreach interface can integrate effectively with its clients’ disparate EHRs. According to the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), the lab industry needs to do more concerning interoperability to prevent disease. The National Academy of Medicine also reported that despite the widespread adoption of EHRs, data sharing is not up to par among many institutions.

As the number of clients increases, a lab’s ability to connect to more providers’ EHR systems without disrupting daily operations will give it a unique edge over its competitors.

Here are the three vital steps to developing an affordable, maintainable, and scalable interface for outreach programs.

1. Know the Features of an Efficient Outreach Interface

For a lab outreach interface to be effective, it needs certain essential features. Here are the most important:

  • Order entry: A robust order entry form that processes patient and sample information. It must also have a menu for tests and supplies that are unique to each site or physician.
  • Web/mobile access: An interface that gives global and local access to all registered lab clients.
  • Email notifications: Capacity to send alerts to relevant users when results are completed.
  • Requisition rule compliance: Adherence to location-based rules for test orders with instant label printing and barcodes generation.
  • Courier support: Capacity to send and receive information from courier companies.
  • Medicare compliance: ABN form generation and compliance with Medicare lab testing regulations.
  • Standing order support: Ability to accommodate special orders and client-specific list of tests.
  • Efficient results display: A robust report generation system that allows both pre-built and custom report generation.

2. Choose Between a Point-to-Point Interface and an Interface Engine

To create an affordable interface outreach solution, your lab can either adopt a point-to-point architecture or build an interface engine.

Point-to-point interfaces will provide a single line of communication for just two applications. On the other hand, the interface engine will manage communication between a single lab and multiple endpoints. Both of them have their pros and cons.

If your lab is new and operating on a limited budget, or you don’t plan to reach out to multiple clients within a short time, a point-to-point interface may be more economical.

However, if you intend to provide seamless communication between your lab and multiple clients within a brief period, an interface engine is more economical. It will reduce the time for development and increase your capacity to connect with many disparate EHR systems.

After you’ve decided on the type of interface model you want, you need to find a reliable vendor.

3. Choose a Suitable Interface Vendor

Interface development is an intricate task that requires the help of an HL7 interface expert. That is why developing interfaces in-house is not advisable for providers who can’t train and keep interface development experts.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing your outreach interface vendor:

  • Experience and ability to integrate a wide range of EHR or EMR applications
  • Capacity to provide extensive customization of requisition forms, final reports, and other tune-ups that will eliminate many manual workloads
  • Efficient customer service with testimonials

Boost Your Lab’s ROI and Sales With a Customized Outreach Interface

Call Lifepoint Informatics today at 877.522.8378 to discuss your need for an effective lab outreach interface. Visit our contact page now to schedule a live demo of any of our proven solutions and set your lab on the path to improved profitability.