Providers and lab managers need EMR laboratory integration. Practices need effective lab connectivity for efficient test orders and to satisfy regulatory requirements for meaningful use. Laboratories also need EHR connectivity to link up with providers and increase their outreach and profitability.

While some practices and labs may feel that the cost or investment in a robust LIS-EHR interface is high, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

In a recent study conducted to analyze the benefits of EHR-LIS connectivity, the number of pre-analytic errors dropped from 2.24 to 0.16 per 1000, and stat tests reduced significantly from 40 to 7 percent.

Here are some of the ways EMR laboratory integration can transform labs and practices positively.

1. Prevent Lab Result Errors

Errors in testing or delivering lab results can increase the cost of treatment and reduce care quality. A significant proportion of lab errors lead to investigations that are unnecessary or wrong diagnosis and treatment.

Errors in lab testing can cost a typical 500-bed hospital in the U.S. millions of dollars annually. Apart from the financial implications of mistakes, laboratories need to manage the effects on patients’ diagnosis. Labs now play a crucial role in delivering patient-centric, value-based healthcare.

Lab results influence at least 70 percent of physicians’ decisions. That means all the test results provided by a lab will directly impact a patient’s treatment.

If there are duplicate tests or wrongly matched patient records, or inadequate patient medical history, it may cause long-term damage to the patient’s health.

However, with an electronic interface between your lab and the provider’s EHR, you can have seamless connectivity. Physicians can make orders for tests using a web portal and receive the results back through the same interface. With paperless data entry and electronic processing of results, many lab errors can be minimized or eliminated.

2. Patients Can Access Results Fast

Over a decade ago, patients had to wait for several days and make calls to access printed or hand-written lab results. Today, patients expect a rapid turnaround with their lab results.

Instead of becoming a burden to hospital staff, your EHR system can easily place the results on the patient’s portal.

EHR-LIS integration makes it possible for patients to see their test results immediately they are ready without the need for phone calls. Some more sophisticated systems may even give a patient an alert or notification by email when results are ready.

3. Improved Reimbursements

Most test claim denials don’t even have to occur. Many denials occur due to incomplete or wrong patient data and other technical errors. Other reasons for denial include errors in provider data and unauthorized testing.

EMR lab integration can reduce denied claims and help labs to ensure prompt payment and profitability.

Lab results solution providers like Lifepoint Informatics create new solutions for labs to retrieve relevant data for claims submission even after a test has been completed. This type of bi-directional connectivity between the EHR and LIS enables labs to reduce their operational costs and raise profits.

4. Accurate Transfer of Patients’ Demographics

Integration reduces the errors caused by manual data entry. If the LIS is not fully integrated with a provider’s EHR, the risk of mistakes increases significantly. When physicians or their assistants need to use an external ordering system or fill paper forms, errors in demographic data and billing information are common. Retyping information to fill a test requisition form can result in typos, omitted fields, and duplicated data.

Discover How to Maximize the Benefits of EMR Laboratory Integration

To develop a robust EMR-Lab interface for seamless connectivity and efficiency, contact Lifepoint Informatics today. Give us a call at 877.522.8378 or use our contact page to send us a message.