Clinical laboratory test ordering and results reporting is needed for AMA’s physician web platform to have wide appeal with physicians

In the drive to achieve clinical integration and a universal electronic health record (EHR), a credible new player with deep financial pockets is poised to enter the field. The American Medical Association (AMA) announced that it is preparing to launch a web-based platform that will deliver a host of clinical and practice management tools to physicians. Included will the capability for clinical laboratory test ordering and lab test reporting.

Last month, the AMA entered into an agreement with LifePoint Informatics of Glen Rock, New Jersey. The AMA will utilize the LifePoint.WEB clinical order entry and results to support medical laboratory test ordering/results reporting with its web-based platform.

American Medical Association (AMA) Partners Gears Up to Offer a Web-Based Physician Portal ServiceDark Daily observes that the AMA’s action to assert itself in the physicians’ portal marketplace is significant. On the road to healthcare integration, controlling the portal by which physicians and other providers access health data and relevant sources can be the source of both profit and influence. By taking these steps, the AMA is signaling that it wants to play an ongoing role in the evolution of healthcare in this country.

It was last April when the AMA announced they had teamed up with Detroit-based technology vendor Covisint to introduce and test a series of web-based services for physicians, including electronic prescriptions, reference databases, and access to online continuing medical education. In June, the partnership announced it would link to the HealthVault personal health-record platform offered by Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT). The deal with LifePoint to support clinical laboratory test order entry and results reporting is an important next step for AMA’s plans to launch their portal nationally in early 2010.

Pathologists and medical laboratory managers shouldn’t overlook the significance of these developments. Information technology (IT) and Internet-based technologies are increasingly sophisticated and robust. In turn, these advances make it possible for an organization like the American Medical Association to create a physicians’ clinical and practice management service portal, then market it profitably to doctors across the nation.

Further, the AMA’s intent to bring this service to market demonstrates that competition for control of the physician’s computer desktop will be ongoing and intense. Don’t forget, huge corporations like Microsoft and Google have their own strategies for how to expand their presence in healthcare, allowing them to generate revenues by serving doctors, patients, and other providers.

Thus, clinical laboratories and pathology groups should consider these events as reminders of the need to maintain state-of-the-art information technology within their laboratories. In the fast-moving Information Age, medical laboratories that are nimble at deploying next-generation information technologies will greatly increase their ability to expand market share, specimen volume, and revenue.

Related Information:

AMA takes first steps to build physician Web portal

LifePoint Informatics to Provide Clinical Data Tools to the American Medical Association’s New Web Platform

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June 2009: New AMA and Microsoft Collaboration to Enhance Patient-Physician Communication

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