The benefits of a results data exchange between a vendor system and the Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) are profound, as the need for redundant and often erroneous data is greatly reduced. More importantly, by implementing a results data exchange to the EHR, providers are delivered more timely and accurate clinical data, yielding an increased level of patient care.
- Elimination of redundant entry of patient data.
- Result reconciled to order automatically
- Immediate availability of the results to the enterprise.
- Decreased risk of patient matching errors (name misspellings, missing dates of birth, etc).
- Elimination of scanning of signed paper labs to the EHR.
- No more lost lab results.
- Run reporting on the data from labs in EHR (for example, blood sugar change over time).
- Automated result tasking as well as the ability to send copies to related providers, such as the referring provider or the patient’s primary care provider.
- Automated Tasking.
- Verify result task.
- Carbon Copy (Review result task).
- Automated synchronization of item dictionary.
- Drop a charge automatically to the PMS (assuming a charge data exchange is in place).
- Capability to automatically send insurance information to labs for lab direct client bill (assuming the insurance data exists in the EHR. This data is usually fed from a separate PMS data exchange).
- For PACs data exchanges, facilitates viewing of image result directly from EHR.
And perhaps the biggest benefit is that many groups are able to negotiate with their lab and radiology providers to subsidize the cost of the data exchange. Since the data exchange presents many benefits from their point-of-view, the lab and radiology providers are often happy to provide financial incentive for practices to participate in an electronic data exchange.
Return on Investment (ROI)
A three-hospital study conducted by LINK Medical and Philips Medical provides great insight into the return on investment that interfacing can provide. These hospitals analyzed and assessed the effectiveness of automating the process of Electrocardiogram (ECG) orders and test results, with the following realized outcomes:
- Reduction in direct annual labor costs ($11–25,000).
- Elimination of non-billable tests.
- Elimination of lost charges (1% to 2% of ordered tests).
- Short payback period (less than 12 months).
- On-going ROI – these savings and associated benefits continued.
Overall cost savings were in the range of $43,000 to $59,000 per annum.