By Hassan Zahwa
A young woman living with a rare disease initially waited months for her doctors to identify the cause of her symptoms. One of the reasons it took so long to obtain a diagnosis: insufficient interoperability between healthcare providers. She had seen multiple doctors for symptoms related to her condition, but lack of interoperability between facilities combined with delayed test results lengthened her time to diagnosis.
Time to diagnosis and intervention is critical for optimal disease management and a crucial driver of both patient outcomes and satisfaction. Despite the advanced state of medical technology in the U.S., this situation is all too common, particularly in diagnosing systemic disorders.
The clinical laboratory plays a crucial role in disease diagnostics. It provides accurate and timely test results that enable healthcare professionals to make informed decisions regarding patient treatment and management. Improved laboratory interoperability enables health systems to achieve efficient, reliable, cost-effective, and high-quality healthcare.
When it comes to lab data interoperability, healthcare organizations face a significant barrier: There are no universal implementation guides for lab order interfaces (LOIs) or lab reporting interfaces (LRIs). According to The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, this lack of standardized LOI/LRI implementation guidance increases costs and complexity — and that in turn prevents broader adoption of common interfaces.
By seeking guidance for adopting recommended LOI and LRI protocols, organizations can:
Despite the benefits of LOI/LRI adoption across the broader healthcare system, adoption remains low. Guidehouse interviewed nine stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem, including healthcare organizations (clinical partners such as health systems, hospitals, and national commercial and public health laboratories), technical partners (EHRs and laboratory information management systems vendors), national advocacy groups, and standards organizations to better understand the barriers to LOI/LRI adoption. These insights coupled with our subject matter expertise and review of recent literature published on this topic provide and all-encompassing picture of barriers to LOI/LRI adoption. The results of the interviews can be viewed in Graph 1.
Beyond these mitigation strategies, Guidehouse has a robust history of working with organizations to improve adoption and implementation of standardized EHR interfaces. By harnessing our patented capabilities and tools, laboratories can successfully implement LOI/LRI.
Guidehouse’s wealth of experience and knowledge can help organizations successfully adopt LOI/LRI with minimal disruption to work and productivity.
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