Predating physician orders
If the efficiencies in lab result access and reduced transcription time and errors were not sufficient to drive connectivity in physician offices, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has certainly made an impact toward this connectivity.
ARRA, which is commonly referred to as the “stimulus package” and was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, also known as HITECH.
The MU programs are being presented in a phased approach and are being deployed in three stages as follows: In order for facilities to meet requirements for Stage 1, there are 15 “Core Objectives,” five additional “Menu Set Objectives” from a set of ten objectives, and six total “Clinical Quality Measures.” While storing laboratory data is not part of the 15 “Core Objectives,” it is part of the “Menu Set Objectives.” An electronic interface between the LIS and a certified EHR will qualify a facility for a “Menu Set Objective.” To satisfy the lab results Menu Set Objective, a minimum of 40 percent of clinical laboratory test results must be incorporated into an EHR as structured data.
In order to incorporate laboratory results as structured data, the LIS must be interfaced to the EHR.
Labs immediately realized an increase in efficiency and accuracy and an easing of regulatory compliance.