Some U.S. laboratories already ramping up their LIS resources to meet demand for LIS-to-EMR interfaces


Clinical laboratory managers and pathology groups need to prepare for what is expected to be a tsunami of requests by physicians who want their newly-implemented electronic medical record (EMR) systems to be interfaced with their laboratory’s LIS. This approaching tsunami is a consequence of the billions in federal incentive payments designed to encourage doctors to adopt EMRs.

It means lab managers and pathologists must actively prepare their medical laboratory to step up and support the “meaningful use” needs of client physicians. As mandated by the HITECH Act, healthcare providers are required to engage in “meaningful” patient health information (PHI) exchanges. Because more than 400,000 physicians will implement electronic medical records (EMR) in the next 60 months, labs should not delay in establishing a strategy.

EMR Adoption by Office-Based Physicians“LIS departments at many laboratories are already overstressed because of physician requests to build interfaces between the LIS and the EMR,” stated Kelly A. Feist, Vice President of Marketing for Sunquest Information Systems, based in Tucson, Arizona. “During 2011, physicians who demonstrate meaningful use of their EMR will qualify for the first of several annual financial incentives from the federal government. That is why, in coming months, clinical laboratories and pathology groups should be doing three things to support their client physicians.

“First, the lab’s management team and its LIS programmers should meet and identify the specific resources required for the laboratory to properly support interfaces that will enable lab test orders and lab test results between the LIS and the most popular EMR products purchased by physicians,” advised Feist.

“Second, the lab would be smart to tap the experience of its LIS vendor, since building the interface between the LIS and the physician’s EMR can present unique problems that the LIS vendor may have already solved because of its work with another lab client,” continued Feist. “In our case, we have already accumulated practical experience with many different EMR products. That positions us to help our LIS customers avoid pitfalls and deliver a working interface in a minimum of time.

“Third, labs should know that there are other solutions that can meet meaningful use criteria,” she said. “For example, we are developing a Web Portal solution to support electronic lab test orders and lab test results reporting in ways that meet meaningful use criteria for the physician. This type of arrangement can be cheaper and faster for both the physician and the laboratory, even as it meets the guidelines for federal incentives.”

To help pathologists, clinical laboratory managers, and hospital administrators get up to speed on meaningful use, The Dark Report has assembled three national experts on the topic of LIS–to–EMR interfaces. They will share their experience and knowledge during a useful audio conference titled, “How Meaningful Use and EMR adoption will Re-shape Your Lab’s Competitive Future and Its Profitability”. It will take place on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST.

On the topic of opportunities with the LIS will be Kelly Feist, Vice President of Marketing for Sunquest Information Systems.

On the topic of opportunities for lab informatics solutions and browser-based lab test ordering/results reporting systems will be Robert D. Atlas, CEO of Atlas Development Corporation of Woodland Hills, California.

On the topic of EMR products and their capabilities will be Pat Wolfram, Vice President of Marketing and Client Services at Ignis Systems, based in Portland, Oregon.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to gain insight on the three vital areas of LIS–to–EMR interfaces. At one time and in one place, lab managers, pathologists, and LIS professionals can hear three major experts speak to the essentials of what laboratories must do to support meaningful use of EMRs by physicians. It is also an opportunity to participate in the interactive live question and answer session to get useful insights in response to your own questions.

Stay fully informed, and gain a competitive advantage. Registration to this live audio conference is open now. Click here to read a full description of the conference and to sign up.

Related Information:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: HITECH Act (EHR Incentives)

Wikipedia: Laboratory Information System

Wikipedia: EMR

Wikipedia: Electronic Medical Records

Past Audio Conferences from The Dark Report and Dark Daily